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

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University of California Press, 2008 - Religion - 299 pages
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"A wonderful, rich, and fascinating book, and a great read. Biale explores the meanings of blood within Jewish and Christian cultures from the blood of the sacrifices of the book of Leviticus to the blood of the Eucharist to the blood of medieval blood libels and the place of blood in Nazi ideology. Biale shows that blood symbolism stands at the center of the divide between Judaism and Christianity. This book will be the point of departure for all future studies of the subject."--Shaye J.D. Cohen, Harvard University

"I know of no other work that, through numerous insights and useful distinctions, so alerts us to and comprehensively documents the ongoing constitutive role of Christian and anti-Semitic perceptions of Jewish existence and the interactions between them. Whereas much contemporary historiography has become so specialized that historians have surrendered the larger picture, David Biale's panoramic perspective reveals the great value and interest of this work."--Steven E. Aschheim, author of Beyond the Border: The German-Jewish Legacy Abroad
  

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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
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About the author (2008)

David Biale is Emanuel Ringelblum Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis and author of Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America (UC Press). He edited Cultures of the Jews: A New History, and Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism (UC Press) with Susannah Heschel and Michael Galchinsky.

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