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Standing At Lyon


An Examination of the Martyrdom of Blandina of Lyon


The suffering woman, Blandina, emerges as an archetypal figure of the martyrs of Lyon. This slave-woman ultimately arises to engage in battle with the powers of the Roman Empire. Through the application of Bowen Family Systems Theory and the writings of Michel Foucault the book explains the function of anxiety, and the dynamics at work in the system that result in the failure of Roman authority to use power to quell the rise of Christianity. The reactions of those who might appear to be the most powerful are essential in gifting power to this lowly slave.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0384-9
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 18,2014
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 189
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0384-9
$33.31

The suffering woman, Blandina, emerges as an archetypal figure in the narrative of the martyrs of Lyon. A minor player at the onset, this slave-woman ultimately arises to engage in battle with the powers of the Roman Empire. Through the application of Bowen Family Systems Theory and the writings of Michel Foucault the book explains the function of anxiety, and the dynamics at work in the system, that result in the failed attempt of Roman authority to use power to quell the rise of Christianity in society.

The examination of martyr stories is often undertaken from an individual viewpoint; that is, by looking at the acts of the martyr through the lens of that suffering person alone. This examination of human action through a systemic lens illustrates the richness of the story and provides a fuller understanding of the place of the definition of self, which is the hallmark of the martyrs.

How can a lowly slave woman, seemingly without status within a highly-stratified society, take on representatives of the most powerful force on the European continent and emerge victorious? Blandina has an unshakeable connection to the Christ of God. Throughout the narrative she remains unwavering in her faith in him – but this is only one piece of the story. The reactions of those who might appear to be the most powerful are essential in gifting power to this lowly slave.

Martyrs remain among us today. The question remains with us concerning how our responses might empower them.

Elizabeth A. Goodine is Assistant Professor of Religion at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York. She earned her bachelor’s degree at SUNY Fredonia, and her master’s and doctorate in Religious Studies from Temple University. Elizabeth is a former nurse; served the church in Nigeria; and was most recently an adjunct professor at Loyola University New Orleans. She was in New Orleans during and after hurricane Katrina which heightened her interest in the place of religion in daily life.

The suffering woman, Blandina, emerges as an archetypal figure in the narrative of the martyrs of Lyon. A minor player at the onset, this slave-woman ultimately arises to engage in battle with the powers of the Roman Empire. Through the application of Bowen Family Systems Theory and the writings of Michel Foucault the book explains the function of anxiety, and the dynamics at work in the system, that result in the failed attempt of Roman authority to use power to quell the rise of Christianity in society.

The examination of martyr stories is often undertaken from an individual viewpoint; that is, by looking at the acts of the martyr through the lens of that suffering person alone. This examination of human action through a systemic lens illustrates the richness of the story and provides a fuller understanding of the place of the definition of self, which is the hallmark of the martyrs.

How can a lowly slave woman, seemingly without status within a highly-stratified society, take on representatives of the most powerful force on the European continent and emerge victorious? Blandina has an unshakeable connection to the Christ of God. Throughout the narrative she remains unwavering in her faith in him – but this is only one piece of the story. The reactions of those who might appear to be the most powerful are essential in gifting power to this lowly slave.

Martyrs remain among us today. The question remains with us concerning how our responses might empower them.

Elizabeth A. Goodine is Assistant Professor of Religion at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York. She earned her bachelor’s degree at SUNY Fredonia, and her master’s and doctorate in Religious Studies from Temple University. Elizabeth is a former nurse; served the church in Nigeria; and was most recently an adjunct professor at Loyola University New Orleans. She was in New Orleans during and after hurricane Katrina which heightened her interest in the place of religion in daily life.

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Contributor Biography

Elizabeth Goodine

Elizabeth A Goodine is Assistant Professor of Religion at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York. She earned her bachelor’s degree at SUNY Fredonia, and her master’s and doctorate in Religious Studies from Temple University. Elizabeth is a former nurse; served the church in Nigeria; and was most recently an adjunct professor at Loyola University New Orleans. She was in New Orleans during and after hurricane Katrina which heightened her interest in the place of religion in daily life. Elizabeth continues to work in interdisciplinary studies as her interest in Bowen Theory with its view of the human condition would indicate.

  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • Acknowledgments (page 9)
  • Introduction (page 11)
  • Background to the Text and Theoretical Framework (page 17)
  • Rivers of Life (page 33)
  • Law and Order (page 71)
  • "Don't Just Do Something: Stand There!" (page 107)
  • The Peril of the Pen: Constructing a Self (page 139)
  • Conclusion (page 173)
  • Bibliography (page 177)
  • Index (page 187)
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