Martyrdom: A Philosophical Perspective


Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, 69978, Israel.


Martyrdom has played and continues to play a dominant role in the religious imagination of many. Jews and Christians alike conceive of their martyrs as exceptional people of faith who express exceptional love and devotion to God. The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the conceptual features of martyrdom by virtue of which it has its role and to show, using those very features and using Simone Weil's observations, that martyrdom cannot mark the logical climax of the believer's love of God.