The Ultimate Sacrifice: Martyrdom, Sovereignty, and Secularization in the West

1st Edition

Clayton Fordahl

April 8, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 208 Pages
ISBN 9780367424329 - CAT# K451728
Series: Classical and Contemporary Social Theory

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This book presents an interpretive, macro-historical and sociological account of martyrdom. Moving away from the notion of martyrdom as an object of individual behaviour and seeing it instead as a significant cultural work performed by communities in the wake of a violent death, it provides a novel interpretation of western political and religious history. In addition to thus redressing the disproportionate attention given to the concept’s relationship to Islam, the author offers a new perspective on two defining historical processes: secularization and the rise of modern sovereignty in the form of the nation-state. An innovative analysis of the role of sacrifice in contemporary culture, that constitutes a timely critique of long-dominant theories of disenchantment and the privatization of religion, The Ultimate Sacrifice will appeal to sociologists and social theorists with interests in religion, politics and the connection between the two.

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