'A Divine Discontent with Wrong': The People's Martyrology

Quentin Outram, Keith Laybourn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This introduction excavates the meaning and use of ‘martyr’ in the thinking of British and Irish oppositionists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It examines the theological roots of the term, the practices of the Church and the impact of the Reformation on later understandings of who and what a martyr was. Furthermore, it pursues a philological investigation into the use of the word ‘martyr’ and its related terms—‘saint’, ‘hero’, ‘Judas’ and ‘innocent’—in conventional, radical and oppositionist writings. The final section turns to the concept of a ‘civil religion’ before considering how a simple ‘death’ is transformed into a ‘martyrdom’. This, and the following contributions, make it clear that ‘the people’s martyrology’ is more than just a particularly apt phrase.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecular Martyrdom in Britain and Ireland
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Peterloo to the Present
EditorsQuentin Outram, Keith Laybourn
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan, Cham
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9783319629056
ISBN (Print)9783319629049, 9783319874265
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2018


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