Blood & Kinship: Matter for Metaphor from Ancient Rome to the Present

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Christopher H. Johnson, Bernhard Jussen, David Warren Sabean, Simon Teuscher
Berghahn Books, 2013 - History - 357 pages

The word “blood” awakens ancient ideas, but we know little about its historical representation in Western cultures. Anthropologists have customarily studied how societies think about the bodily substances that unite them, and the contributors to this volume develop those questions in new directions. Taking a radically historical perspective that complements traditional cultural analyses, they demonstrate how blood and kinship have constantly been reconfigured in European culture. This volume challenges the idea that blood can be understood as a stable entity, and shows how concepts of blood and kinship moved in both parallel and divergent directions over the course of European history.

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About the author (2013)

Bernhard Jussen has been Professor of Medieval History at Goethe University Frankfurt since 2008. In 2007 he was awarded the Leibniz prize of the German Research Foundation. His publications include Spiritual Kinship as Social Practice (2000) and Atlas des Historischen Bildwissens (2009).

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