Cristianesimo nella storia, 27 (2006), pp. 301-318
The article reviews the course of voluntary martyrdom in the twentieth century, a time when religious' and political terminologies were continuously exchanged: the idea of giving up your life to attract public dishonour onto your persecutor was used by the suffragettes in England and then, above all, in the United States. After the Great War, in which the extortion to voluntary martyrdom was represented through propaganda, the phenomenon of suicide soldiers appears more evidently in the formations of Japanese kamikaze than in other corps of other armies. That mix of imperialist ideology and of the ancient sense of the Emperor's honour will remain a paradigm more adapted to the exotic, one which cannot be applied to later phenomena such as the self-immolation of monks in Vietnam, or to the pacifists that killed themselves in the same way in the youth uprising in the United States, or to occupied Czechoslovakia. The issue became more significant when, gradually, willingness to die puts the lives of others in danger, or is used to destructive effect as it was in Israel and Lebanon, at the very moment in which the "innocent" hunger-strike of the Irish guerrillas in Ulster stirred up much moral discussion. Practised in Sri Lanka, suicide attacks against military or civil targets would become mainstream, becoming an apparently sure way of making an impact.
Cristianesimo nella Storia ospita ricerche di autorevoli studiosi sul percorso storico del cristianesimo, con particolare attenzione ai contesti e alle culture con cui i cristiani sono entrati in contatto, a cominciare da quella vetero-testamentaria e giudaica fino alle società secolarizzate di oggi. Ogni quadrimestre Cristianesimo nella storia propone, oltre ai saggi critici, rassegne, note e recensioni che consentono di valutare criticamente le ipotesi emerse negli studi scientifici internazionali in campo storico, teologico ed esegetico. Un numero di ogni anno viene dedicato a un argomento monografico.