Eleazar - the honor of death: Eleazar's death within the perspective of honor and shame
Jordaan, Pierre Johan
Hefer, B.J. .
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Martyrdom has become 'n focal point in recent decades. Although many aspects of martyrdom have been studied, the aspect of honor and shame is yet to be fully explored. This article aims to take a fresh look at martyrdom, especially that of Eleazar in 2 Maccabees 6:18-31. To do so, the cultural-anthropological approach of Malina is used. Further, the relation between honor and reward is also explored. The death of Eleazar is judged within the boundaries of "honor and shame", "pure and impure" and "holy and profane". The patron-client relationship between God en Eleasar is also considered. In so doing, the article points out how the death of this Jewish scribe could be considered "honorable" in spite of all the dishonorable things that were part of his execution. It also points out how Eleazar's death stands as a testament of his honor against those of his executioners. Looking at the death of Eleazar from an honor-shame perspective has proven to help in the understanding of martyrdom in the past, and perhaps even in the present.
- Faculty of Theology