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Author Weaver-Zercher, David, 1960- author

Title Martyrs mirror : a social history / David L. Weaver-Zercher
Published Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, [2016]
Online access available from:
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (xvii, 414 pages) : illustrations
Series Young Center books in Anabaptist & Pietist studies
Young Center books in Anabaptist & Pietist studies.
Contents Part I. The prehistory and production of The bloody theater. Anabaptism: origins, spread, and persecution -- Memorializing martyrdom before The bloody theater -- Thieleman van Braght and the publication of The bloody theater -- The bloody theater: martyr stories and more -- Part II. Van Braght's martyrology through the years. The bloody theater illustrated: the 1685 Martyrs mirror -- A North American edition: the 1748-49 Ephrata Martyrs mirror -- Martyrs mirror in nineteenth-century America -- Martyrs mirror in twentieth-century America -- Part III. Contemporary approaches to Martyrs mirror. Tradition-minded Anabaptists and the use of Martyrs mirror -- Assimilated Mennonites and the dilemma of Martyrs mirror -- The most usable martyr: putting Dirk Willems to work -- Going global: Martyrs mirror in the twenty-first century
Summary Approximately 2,500 Anabaptists were martyred in sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Europe. Their surviving brethren compiled stories of those who suffered and died for the faith into martyr books. The most historically and culturally significant of these, The Bloody Theater--more commonly known as Martyrs Mirror--was assembled by the Dutch Mennonite minister Thieleman van Braght and published in 1660. Today, next to the Bible, it is the single most important text to Anabaptists--Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites. In some Anabaptist communities, it is passed to new generations as a wedding or graduation gift. David L. Weaver-Zercher combines the fascinating history of Martyrs Mirror with a detailed analysis of Anabaptist life, religion, and martyrdom. He traces the publication, use, and dissemination of this key martyrology across nearly four centuries and explains why it holds sacred status in contemporary Amish and Mennonite households. Even today, the words and deeds of these martyred Christians are referenced in sermons, Sunday school lessons, and history books. Weaver-Zercher argues that Martyrs Mirror was designed to teach believers how to live a proper Christian life. In van Braght's view, accounts of the martyrs helped to remind readers of the things that mattered, thus inspiring them to greater faithfulness. Martyrs Mirror remains a tool of revival, offering new life to the communities and people who read it by revitalizing Anabaptist ideals and values. Meticulously researched and illustrated with sketches from early publications of Martyrs Mirror, Weaver-Zercher's ambitious history weaves together the existing scholarship on this iconic text in an accessible and engaging way
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Braght, Thieleman J. van (Thieleman Janszoon), 1625-1664. Bloedig toneel.
Anabaptists -- Europe -- Biography.
Christian martyrs -- Europe -- Biography.
Genre/Form Biography.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1421418827
1421418835 (electronic bk.)
1421418835 (electronic)
9781421418834 (electronic bk.)