Genealogies of Medieval Violence: Martyrdom, Holy War, Purification, and Terror in the European West, ca. 1 CE - ca. 2001


ACLS Fellowship Program




I investigate the relationship in societies informed by the Western European Christian tradition between martyrdom, terror, holy war, and purificatory coercion or violence. This project addresses both the premodern history of these concepts and practices (from the Jewish Revolt against Rome and early Christianity to the sixteenth-century religious wars, through real and remembered martyrdom, the crusades, and the inquisitions) and the cultural genealogies leading into the modern era (for instance, messianistic imperialism, secular and religious "state" terror, and secular and religious terrorism). I also compare these configurations across time, irrespective of genealogies.