Christianity was also used as a way to separate people in society, giving them a ‘proper’ place. Rulers also used stories of justice to exemplify themselves from questioning of their own authority, which seems to be a fancy way of keeping people in fear of the government. Using Christian ideology, Roman rulers were able to establish laws based off of what other Christians considered righteous, after all, it was modeled after Godly teachings.
I think Castelli makes a really good point in talking about how Roman law, society and Christianity have shaped ideas of martyrdom. Additionally, I like what Foucault has had to say about martyrdom and it being a spectacle for society. As we have talked about in class, I don’t think we have strayed very far from this idea in general. The theories seem very similar, keeping the public in line and using punishment of criminals as an example. However, in all of those ideas, I also find it challenging because I don’t often attribute some of these ideas to martyrdom. For me, the connection to religion has always been strong. In some of the cases we have talked about, such as the hangings in Iran, are more political statements. So, while I agree with Foucault and Castelli especially, I find it more challenging to widen my range and understanding of what exactly martyrdom is.