Introduction to Digital Humanities

RELI/ENGL 39, Fall 2015, University of the Pacific

Perpetua, Felicitas, and the “Hollywood Version” Christian

I genuinely enjoyed this last article. No, I didn’t hate the other articles or texts, but I thought that this article was really interesting to read and not difficult to understand. I just wanted to mention that…

Before I talk about how much I love Perpetua and Felicitas, I want to talk about how the aricle first addressed this idea of the “Hollywood version” of Christians during that era of Ancient Rome and religious persecution.  I’m sure many people believe this “Hollywood version” – Christians hiding in dark alleys and roaming from place to place via secret tunnels. The article ensures readers that it was not like that at all. There was religious persecution but persecution was small and more of a concern for local communities. There was a fear of Christians, not because of radical actions against the state, but because Christians did not take part in major pagan rituals and events, which could be interpretted as radical and offensive to the state at the time.

The two martyrs that the article talks about (and who I will never forget) are Perpetua and Felicitas. These were two Christian women who chose to die rather than participate in pagan practices of worship. Perpetua especially was ready to die for her faith even though she had not been baptized as a Christian. She could have easily gotten out of her execution but Perpetua stuck to her beliefs and God and died a martyr. Felicitas was a mother, to die would mean to leave her child without their mother, but Felicitas stuck to her faith and also dies the death of a martyr.

Some might ask why these women chose to die rather than lie about their religion and get off scot-free. These women were devoted and if you look at the Biblical verse, Matthew 10:32-33, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” To hold onto their faith, the lives of Felicitas and Perpetua would be put on the line, but to deny their faith would put their souls at risk. At least, that is likely how Felicitas and Perpetua might have saw it. Only they know their reasons.



1 Comment

  1. Like I said in my last comment I am not religious so with the topic being religion I can not hold a very good conversation. I find it hard to comprehend martyrdom when I don’t have faith in a higher power other than in my society. I really enjoyed you comment on the reading even though I just finished it in class. Perpetua and Felicitas are great and powerful symbols to follow what you believe in even if it will bring you to your death. The way the reading was written was a bit confusing but you made things clear, to the point, and made it interesting seeing the “hollywood version” of this story. They were very inspirational and this story is something that should go viral through social media because some people need Jesus but mainly for the meaning of the story.

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