Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-mm7gn Total loading time: 0.59 Render date: 2022-08-12T15:21:10.194Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Ritual Murder and the Subjectivity of Christ: A Choice in Medieval Christianity*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 June 2011

Christopher Ocker
Affiliation:
San Francisco Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley

Extract

This is a study of the emotional context of certain medieval anti-Jewish legends. It examines how the stories redefined the composition of society, the relation of this to popular devotion, and the paradox between a religious intention and its effect. After a brief survey of the phenomenon, I suggest that recent views of the psychological sources of the legends do not adequately account for the religious experience that they promote, nor do these explanations sufficiently account for the way the legends encouraged and reinforced social habits—“ruts in the pathways of the mind” that encouraged the maintenance of conformity among members of society. Part one will examine how the libels could help people imagine more specifically the general hostility against Jews widely propagated after the First Crusade and how this superimposed a social uniformity on the town. Part two describes the emotional context of that violence in devotion to the passion of Christ. Part three considers the moral dilemma posed by the function of these legends in popular devotion. My goal is to account for the religious content of anti-Jewish legend and an ethical problem within medieval piety, for which reason it will be necessary to draw on the diverse literature that shaped medieval Christian culture, both learned and popular, from the twelfth century, when the legends first appeared in Europe, to the eve of the Reformation.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College 1998

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
5
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Ritual Murder and the Subjectivity of Christ: A Choice in Medieval Christianity*
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Ritual Murder and the Subjectivity of Christ: A Choice in Medieval Christianity*
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Ritual Murder and the Subjectivity of Christ: A Choice in Medieval Christianity*
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *