Blood is something that all humans share: a vital force that courses through our veins - the giver of life. This book gathers together specially commissioned essays from leading scholars which reflect on the religious, historical, and medical dimensions of blood. Written for a broad audience and illustrated with full colour plates, the essays encompass history, literature, art history, religious studies and medical humanities and explore some of the most challenging issues surrounding blood and ritual. The themes covered include: blood in Christian and Jewish culture, medieval antisemitism, Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, Jewish ritual, blood and 'race', Jews and genes.
Anthony Bale is Professor of Medieval Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. He has published two books on relations between Christians and Jews in medieval culture: The Jew in the Medieval Book: English Antisemitisms 1350-1500 (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and Feeling Persecuted: Christians, Jews, and Images of Violence in the Middles Ages (Reaktion, 2010). He is currently researching pilgrimage, literature, and popular religion in late medieval Palestine. David Feldman is Director of the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism and also a Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London. He has published widely on relations between Jews and non-Jews in modern Britain, as well as on the history of immigrants and ethnic minorities. His books include Englishmen and Jews. Social Relations and Political Culture, 1840-1914 (Yale University Press, 1994). He is currently researching the history of opposition to antisemitism.