Gentile Tales: The Narrative Assault on Late Medieval Jews / Edition 1

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During the late medieval period, accusations that Jews had abused Christ by desecrating the Eucharist created a powerful anti-Jewish movement and violent clashes quickly spread throughout Europe. Miri Rubin looks at the often disturbing and violent story of anti-Jewish treatment in the Middle Ages seen through a variety of religious tales and poems placed within a historical context. Produced by Christians, for Christians to empower themselves against Jews, Rubin questions who was responsible for the tales and who was to blame for the anti-Semitic feeling and violence that ensued. Her study is above all revealing of the medieval mindset, religious intolerance and a culture of violence that grew up around it.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Rubin raises . . . deep and disturbing questions about the nature of persecution and mass hysteria, and not least about the ways in which Christian beliefs have caused the deaths of Jews. . . . This is a courageous book, with implications far beyond medieval history."—Michael Clanchy, Times Literary Supplement

"What triggers landmark events in history, Rubin explains, is often fictions that people believe, rather than incidents that actually took place. . . . With the flair of the ethnographer, Rubin taps into those perennial transpositions and transferences whereby groups of people are bonded together by invoking an alien other who arouses fear and dismay. . . . A powerful and moving book."—Lisa Jardine, New Statesman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812218800
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Series: The Middle Ages Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,244,676
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Miri Rubin is Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London. She is the author of Charity and Community in Medieval Cambridge and Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture.
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
1 Introduction 1
2 From Jewish boy to bleeding host 7
3 Patterns of accusation 40
4 Persons and places 70
Interjection : what did Jews think of the Eucharist? : according to Jews and according to Christians 93
5 Making the narrative work 104
6 Violence and the trails of memory 132
Conclusion 190
App Rabbi Avigdor Kara : all the afflictions et kol ha-tela'a 196
Notes 199
Index 258
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