Blood and Belief: The Circulation of a Symbol Between Jews and Christians

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University of California Press, Oct 23, 2007 - Religion - 316 pages
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Blood contains extraordinary symbolic power in both Judaism and Christianity as the blood of sacrifice, of Jesus, of the Jewish martyrs, of menstruation, and more. Yet, though they share the same literary, cultural, and religious origins, on the question of blood the two religions have followed quite different trajectories. For instance, while Judaism rejects the eating or drinking of blood, Christianity mandates its symbolic consumption as a central sacrament. How did these two traditions, both originating in the Hebrew Bible's cult of blood sacrifices, veer off in such different directions? With his characteristic wit and erudition, David Biale traces the continuing, changing, and often clashing roles of blood as both symbol and substance through the entire sweep of Jewish and Christian history from Biblical times to the present."
  

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Contents

Writing with Blood
1
Pollution and Power Blood in the Hebrew Bible
9
Blood and the Covenant The Jewish and Christian Careers of a Biblical Verse
44
Gods Blood Medieval Jews and Christians Debate the Body
81
Power in the Blood The Medieval and the Modern in Nazi AntiSemitism
123
From Blood Libel to Blood Community SelfDefense and SelfAssertion in Modern Jewish Culture
162
Blood and Belief
207
Notes
215
Selected Bibliography
261
Index
281
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

David Biale is the Emmanuel Ringelblum Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis. He lives in Berkeley, California.

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