The power of Christian innocence and its redemptive promise has received renewed attention in recent theological writing. From about 1850 onwards, the cult of Philomena and other young martyrs of the catacombs declined in the face of new archaeological evidence which provided proof that not all the bodies found in the catacombs could be identified as Christian. Many feminist theologians have come to believe that classical Christian theories of atonement and their influence on spirituality and practice have been damaging, especially for women. In its rejection of 'victimhood' because of its harmful associations, feminist theology may lose sight of the Christian paradox of weakness that can be a source of strength, and death which can be a source of life. Traditional forms of self-denial can be damaging and need deconstructing. But self-giving as love must be at the core of human life and Christian salvation.