2. "Self-mortification, far from producing liberation from material things, is far more likely to cause either an unhinged mind, delusions or a masochistic taste for more suffering, experienced, of course, as joy."
- Idries Shah, Sufi Thought and Action
3. "He was also deemed an irreproachable holy man who had returned to Antioch only when a life of self-mortification threatened to kill him should he persist with it. John had work to do: the most urgent task was to separate Christians from Jews, once and for all."
- Simon Schama, The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words
4. "If we read the text alone, assuming that the word 'cross' can only derive its meaning from the later death of Jesus, then its appearance in the text must be an anachronism read back into the story after the crucifixion. This conclusion becomes unnecessary if the cross, being the standard punishment for insurrection or for the refusal to confess Caesar's lordship, already had a clear definition in the listener's awareness. 'Take up your cross' may even have been a standard phrase of Zealot recruiting. The disciple's cross is not a metaphor for self-mortification or even generally innocent suffering; 'if you follow me, your fate will be like mine, the fate of a revolutionary. You cannot follow me without facing that fate."
- John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus