Climbing the Dragon's Ladder

The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas

By Andrea Lorenzo Molinari

Illustrated by Tyler Walpole

Climbing the Dragon's Ladder

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  • ISBN: 9781597529228
  • Pages: 292
  • Publication Date: 10/15/2006
  • Retail Price: $39.00
Web Price: $31.20
Web Price: $31.20

Climbing the Dragon's Ladder

The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas

By Andrea Lorenzo Molinari

Illustrated by Tyler Walpole

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781597529228
  • Pages: 292
  • Publication Date: 10/15/2006
  • Retail Price: $39.00
Web Price: $31.20

About-

Perpetua was a martyr (d. March 7, 203), a mystic and, interestingly enough, the first known woman Christian writer. She left behind a diary that outlined her personal experiences, feelings and visions as she languished in prison, awaiting her execution. Sometime after her death, a Christian eyewitness to these brutal events edited her journal and appended additional relevant materials such as a vision recorded by one of her companions and a 'blow by blow' account of the martyrs' final moments in the arena. This work is known as the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas.

Climbing the Dragon's Ladder, is a fictional attempt to expand on the Martyrdom account in a way that is historically, theologically and culturally sensitive to the early third century A.D. For example, the scene that depicts an early Christian baptismal ceremony is directly dependent on Tertullian's treatise, On Baptism (ca. A.D. 205) and the ancient Christian liturgical source, Apostolic Tradition (ca. A.D. 215). Tertullian, a theologian and Church father, lived in Carthage during the exact period in which Perpetua's life and death took place. Apostolic Tradition represents the first extant baptismal ritual of the Christian Church and agrees in many ways with the information found in On Baptism.

In short, this novel presents actual historical events -- both the events of Perpetua and her companions' life and martyrdom and those of the larger historical period -- and weaves a believable back-story of ordinary men and women who are caught up in events that test their faith in God, their commitment to Christ and their relationships with those around them. This is a story of faith under fire, of courage in the face of terrible loss and deprivation and of the human will to hope, even when things are at their darkest.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"Our memories of even great deeds never remain static, and this was true of the memory of the martyrdom of Perpetua and her companions. Over time, people commented on her experience, trying to fill in gaps in our understanding to help us get closer to the truth of the martyrs' sacrifices. People who write and rewrite the stories of saints' and martyrs' experiences are called "hagiographers," and throughout Christian history, hagiographers have embellished the stories of saints and martyrs to help readers understand truths that are spiritually deeper than the facts. Dr. Molinari is a modern hagiographer within this long tradition. He has retold the story of Perpetua, Felicitas, and their companions in a way that goes well beyond what historians can do. The result is an engaging work that may lead readers to understand the spiritual and political struggles that led Perpetua and her companions to die so bravely in the arena of Carthage."

Joyce E. Salisbury, Ph.D.
History Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
Author of Perpetua's Passion: Death and Memory of a Young Roman Woman and Blood of Martyrs: Unintended Consequences of Ancient Violence

Contributors-

Andrea Lorenzo Molinari
Tyler Walpole

Bio(s)-

Andrea Lorenzo Molinari is President of Blessed Edmund Rice School for Pastoral Ministry which is attached to Barry University Miami, FL, where he holds the rank of Assistant Professor of New Testament and Early Church History. He is the author of Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles (NHC 6.1): Allegory, Ascent and Ministry in the Wake of the Decian Persecution (2000) and `I never knew the man': The Coptic Act of Peter (Papyrus Berolinensis 8502.4), its Independence from the Apocryphal Acts of Peter, Genre and Origins (2000).

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