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Blood and Belief – The Circulation of a Symbol between Jews and Christians - California Scholarship Online
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Blood and Belief: The Circulation of a Symbol between Jews and Christians

David Biale


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 ... More

Keywords: blood, symbolic power, Judaism, Christianity, sacrifice, Jesus, Jewish martyrs, menstruation, sacrament, Hebrew Bible's cult

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780520253049
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520253049.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Biale, author