Unformatted text preview: What better way to do this than by sharing accounts of countless martyrs’ tragically beautiful deaths and consequent ascensions to heaven? It gave Christians everywhere role models—mascots, if you will—of courage and strength. They were exemplars of true Christianity, and no doubt their tales brought communities of believers closer together. I can’t be sure whether Perpetua’s writing is genuine or not, but, frankly, I’m not sure how much difference it makes. The point is that it was a story used by early Christian leaders to make converts and add to the communal feel of Christianity. Nothing brings a group together or tears them apart better than persecution, and Christians were one of the most persecuted peoples of the time. They chose to use it a source of strength, and the result was a rapid spread of Christianity throughout the Roman empire....
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- Fall '07
- Christianity, St. Perpetua, overactive religious imagination, tragically beautiful deaths