Beyond the Measure of Man: About the Mystery of Socratic Martyrdom

Henk A. Bakker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The martyrdom and apology of Socrates seem to have been received by early Christians as model narratives for Christians to refer to. Anyhow, Socratic martyrdom, because of its specific tenets, could even for Christians easily function as a literary paradigm of integrity. Some of the specifics have very much so moulded the western mind-set regarding issues of freedom of mind and faith and the elenctic force of the Christian faith. As such Socrates was almost deemed a Christian - at least a great grand-martyr of some type of pre-Christian blood. Socrates' martyrdom displayed archetypical features, and genuinely demonstrated to come forth from the source of the Absolute, that is: the eternal Logos and the prophetic Spirit. Hence, the person of Socrates could also be characterized as a martyr-prophet, who lived and died for his primordial convictions, and who was able to direct gentile comrades and opponents to the truth of Logos and Spirit, even to the very heart of revealed faith.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-407
Number of pages17
JournalChurch History and Religious Culture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • apologists
  • early church
  • martyrdom


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