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978-1-57075-161-5 / 9781570751615

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About the book:

Twenty original essays by distinguished contemporary writers trace an indelible portrait of the martyrs of our century, documenting a struggle that has played out across the boundaries of nations and between the realm of culture and the province of the sacred. The stories of these remarkable individuals who chose faith at the cost of life demonstrate that what remains, after the drama of their agonizing deaths, is a legacy of inspiring faith.

"Now in this century, which has produced more martyrs than all other centuries combined, the time has come to honor the newly fallen. I find the lineup in this book, both of subjects and authors, simply stunning." --Philip Yancey, author of "The Jesus I Never Knew"

"Unsentimental, critical, and penetrating, this book most directly confronts me with the question: 'Who are you willing to die for?' With its gripping stories about contemporary martyrs it exposes the immense challenge of a committed life."
--Henri Nouwen

"This book offers both fact and insight concerning one of the deepest mysteries in human experience: Why would a person willingly give up his or her own life for reasons of faith or for social justice?...What seems to emerge in these accounts is the truth that love, the greatest commandment, sometimes requires of God's faithful the ultimate sacrifice, one that love enables them willingly to make." --Alfred Corn, editor of "Incarnation: Contemporary Writers on the New Testament"

"This book belongs in every Christian's arsenal." --David Neff, executive editor, "Christianity Today"

"The stories...are the pounding heart of this luminous book." --Mark A. Noll, professor of history, Wheaton College

Susan Bergmanis an award-winning essayist and poet. She is the author of a memoir, "Anonymity," which was published in 1994 to wide critical acclaim, and a novel, "The Buried Life," forthcoming in 1997.

The impressive list of contributors include: Susan Bergman on modern martyrdom Larry Woiwode on Aleksandr Men Ron Hansen on the Jesuits of El Salvador Carolyn Forch on Oscar Romero Nancy Mairs on Janani Luwum Paul Elie on Steven Biko Gerald Early on Martin Luther King, Jr. Julia Alvarez on the Mirabals Steve Saint on Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully and Peter Fleming Marilynne Robinson on Dietrich Bonhoeffer Calvin Bedient on Etty Hillesum Anthony Walton on Simone Weil Patricia Hampl on Edith Stein Paul Mariani on Maximilian Kolbe Mark Rudman on Osip Mandelstam Peggy O'Brien on Patrick Pearse Robert Ellsberg on Charles de Foucauld Kathleen Norris on Maria Goretti Barbara Lazear Ascher on the Boxer Rebellion Dana Gioia, Afterword

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