The Ritual Murder Accusation at the Limit of Jewish History
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Michigan Press
Title Page, Copyright
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I am grateful to the University of Pittsburgh for supporting my research in numerous ways, through the Central Research Development Fund, the University Center for International Studies, and an Arts & Sciences Faculty Research Grant, as well as a sabbatical leave...
Introduction: The Ethical Dimensions of Historical Interpretation: The Blood Libel as Limit Case
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The story begins with the discovery of a child’s body. Most commonly it is a boy, though occasionally it could be more than one child, or a girl. The body might be discovered in a sewer drainage ditch, perhaps in a wood. The setting is generally a medieval town. The child is a Christian and he is young...
Chapter 1: Thomas of Monmouth and the Juridical Discourse of Ritual Murder
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Near the end of his account of the life and miracles of William of Norwich, Thomas of Monmouth records a case of blasphemy punished. Thomas tells us that a certain man named Walter, a fellow monk in the Norwich priory, made a habit of disparaging “the holiness and miracles”...
Chapter 2: Moralization and Method in Gavin Langmuir’s History of Antisemitism
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In the midst of his tendentious account of William’s death and afterlife, Thomas of Monmouth composes an imaginary speech for the Jews who are accused of the crime and pictures them deliberating among themselves about the consequences of discovery...
Chapter 3: On Being Implicated: Israel Yuval and the New History of Medieval Jewish-Christian Relations
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In his Life and Miracles of William of Norwich, the monk Thomas of Monmouth calls up a casual remark he might have heard in the street or marketplace. The Norwich Jews, he writes, used to rail at us insolently, saying, “You ought to be very much obliged to us...
Chapter 4: Beyond Implication: The Ariel Toaff Affair and the Question of Complicity
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In previous chapters, I argued that a shift in ethical discourses is visible in recent scholarship on the ritual murder accusation. I suggested that scholars like Gavin Langmuir, Israel Yuval, and Elliott Horowitz can be located on a continuum between moralization and ethical deliberation that is operative, in a larger sense, within the ‹eld of medieval Jewish studies...
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Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2012