Last year the Maxwell Institute published a book called On This Day, a translation of the Armenian Church’s ancient collection of stories about martyrs, miracles, and saints, arranged according to the calendar in order to facilitate commemoration. Early followers of Jesus often shared inspirational stories of martyrs in order to bear witness to their faith. Of course, the phenomenon of martyrdom preceded Christianity—in Jewish and Greek history for instance—and has remained a staple of religious and political protest to the present time. Martyrdom is currently an extremely controversial status because it is sometimes claimed by people who commit acts of violence against others as opposed to simply accepting death themselves. In this episode, Professor Jolyon Mitchell explores such controversies and the history of dying for one’s belief as described in his book Martyrdom: A Very Short Introduction. About Jolyon Mitchell Jolyon Mitchell is professor of communications, arts and religion at the University of Edinburgh. He’s also director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues. His research and teaching focuses on peacebuilding, violence, and religion. He has lectured on these topics around the world. Prior to becoming a professor he worked as a producer and journalist for the BBC. ***** You can subscribe to the Maxwell Institute Podcast through iTunes or use the RSS feed maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/feed/podcast. Please help our podcast grow by rating and reviewing it in iTunes. Send questions or comments about this and other episodes to email@example.com.