By Michael P. Jensen
What does Christian martyrdom let us know approximately being a self? I argue that Christian martyrdom offers a coherent and compelling narration of the self when it comes to the narrative of the existence and loss of life of Jesus Christ: a story that orients the self in desire in the direction of the nice and turns the self in the direction of reputation of and sacrificial provider of different selves. In dialog with writers akin to Salman Rushdie and Charles Taylor and caused by way of T.S. Eliot's homicide within the Cathedral, I express that Christian discipleship isn't the course of creating oneself securely, or pursuing the nice made attainable via collaboration with earthly strength, or making oneself an id via motion based on a few excellent, or looking earthly or heavenly renown, yet is quite narrated within the mild of the adventure of pierasmos (temptation/testing) and as regards to God's windfall.
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Extra info for Martyrdom and Identity: The Self on Trial
By contrast, Rushdie celebrates ‘newness’: the constant crossing and recrossing of boundaries that themselves ought to be considered permeable rather than fixed. 64 There is a rather slipshod application of the term ‘postmodern’ here: Rushdie’s ‘postmodernism’ is more a matter of his narrative style than anything else. However, Aghapour is right to note Rushdie’s emphasis on the individual’s struggle to self-identify against the pressure to conform to some brute, ﬁxed notion of a group identity.
On the other hand, Saladin develops his identity through a process of responding to the world as he encounters and experiences it. For Rushdie, then, the individual’s personal struggle to build his or her identity is preferable to the more straightforward reliance on traditional, 54 Salman Rushdie, ‘In good faith’, in Imaginary Homelands (London: Granta, 1991), pp. 393–414 (p. 394). ’ 33 religious categories. Gibreel’s receptiveness to the transcendent – his ‘faith’, we might say – isolates him from reality with catastrophic results.
39 This vehement response to Rushdie was reafﬁrmed in July 2007 after he was awarded a knighthood. 41 However, it would be a mistake to characterize Rushdie as merely an anti-religious zealot. 42 Rushdie is witness to a world in which personal and communal identities are constantly shifting against a backdrop of massive and rapid historical, cultural and political change. The drawing of borders on maps has enormous – sometimes enormously destructive – consequences for individuals on the ground and how they identify themselves (the partition of India described in Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children43 being but one example).
Martyrdom and Identity: The Self on Trial by Michael P. Jensen