Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ritual Gone WrongWhat We Learn from Ritual Disruption$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kathryn T. McClymond

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199790913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790913.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2020

Blood Libel

Blood Libel

Ritual Misrepresentation

Chapter:
(p.65) 3 Blood Libel
Source:
Ritual Gone Wrong
Author(s):

Kathryn T. McClymond

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790913.003.0004

This chapter explores the false charge leveled against Jews for centuries, the charge that Jews have murdered individuals in order to use human blood in religious ritual. Blood libels were a distinctive form of ritual disruption in which an outside community misrepresented Jewish tradition through allegations against Jewish individuals and communities. The blood libel contributed to a distinctive caricature of Jewish identity situated in a polarized dynamic between Christians and Jews: Jews embodied the “other,” while Christians embodied the preferred “norm.” Christians were human and morally superior, while Jews were nonhuman and morally inferior. Mischaracterizations reinforced an already socially, politically, and economically unequal relationship while simultaneously revealing much of what preoccupied Christians theologically, socially, and historically. Jews were cast as the monstrous “other” as a foil for Christians’ self-representations, illustrating the general point that a dominant group may bolster its own self-presentation through rhetoric that misrepresents another group’s ritual practice.

Keywords:   blood libel, ritual murder, Host desecration, William of Norwich, Thomas of Monmouth, Simon of Trent, The Damascus Affair, Beilis Trial

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .