Thursday, 6 April 2017

Of martyrdom

Regarding martyrdom and crusades...
A religious community, a church, can exhort a member to die for his belief and become a martyr, but only for the salvation of his own soul, not for the religious community in its quality as an earthly power; otherwise it assumes a political dimension. Its holy wars and crusades are actions which presuppose an enemy decision, just as do other wars (p. 48) [Schmitt, C. (2007) The concept of the political Chicago: The university of Chicago press.] 
Am not very sure if in the process of canonization, especially those considered martyrs, this element of distinguishing between dying for faith and dying for the Church is taken note of.  And I wonder if the latter is worth dying for.  For a person, a principle, yes! For a structure? Possible, but wouldn't that be political rather than spiritual?

This distinction between the political aspect and the spiritual aspect is good to understand the difference between the Church and the Kingdom of God.  That both these need not be the same, especially when the Church is understood with all its administrative and "political" tassels.

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