Wonderful Blood Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond

ISBN-10: 0812220196
ISBN-13: 9780812220193
Edition: 2007
List price: $24.95 Buy it from $12.76
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Description: The quiet market town of Wilsnack in northeastern Germany is unfamiliar to most English-speakers and even to many modern Germans. Yet in the fifteenth century it was a European pilgrimage site surpassed in importance only by Rome and Santiago de  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication date: 11/5/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 456
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.628
Language: English

The quiet market town of Wilsnack in northeastern Germany is unfamiliar to most English-speakers and even to many modern Germans. Yet in the fifteenth century it was a European pilgrimage site surpassed in importance only by Rome and Santiago de Compostela. The goal of pilgrimage was three miraculous hosts, supposedly discovered in the charred remains of the village church several days after it had been torched by a marauding knight in August 1383. Although the church had been burned and the spot soaked with rain, the hosts were found intact and dry, with a drop of Christ's blood at the center of each.In" Wonderful Blood," Caroline Walker Bynum studies the saving power attributed to Christ's blood at north German cult sites such as Wilsnack, the theological controversy such sites generated, and the hundreds of devotional paintings, poems, and prayers dedicated to Christ's wounds, scourging, and bloody crucifixion. She argues that Christ's blood as both object and symbol was central to late medieval art, literature, pious practice, and theology. As object of veneration, blood provided a focus of intense debate about the nature of matter, body, and God and an occasion for Jewish persecution; as motif, blood became a prominent subject of northern art and a central symbol in the visions of mystics and the prayers of ordinary people.

Caroline Walker Bynum is University Professor at Columbia University. She is the author of Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200-1336, and Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Body in Medieval Religion (Zone Books, 1991).

List of Illustrations
Preface
Some Notes on Usage
Introduction: A Frenzy for Blood
The Emergence of Blood Piety
Blood in the Fifteenth-Century North
Some Recent Approaches
Cults in Northern Germany
Wilsnack
The Events
Historiography
Blood at the Center
Treatises de Sanguine
Larger Questions
Cults in Mecklenburg and the Mark Brandenburg
Historiography and the Problem of the Evidence
Blood Cult in Middle Germany and the Havelland
North and West of Wilsnack
Anti-Jewish Libels Circa 1500: Sternberg and Berlin
The Fate of Cults in the Sixteenth-Century North
Holy Matter and the Jews
Blood Disputes in Fifteenth-Century Europe and Their Background
Debates About Eucharistic Transformations and Blood Relics
Visions and Transformations
The Practical Issue of Transformed Hosts
Concomitance and the Cup
The Debate over Blood Relics: Background
Grosseteste, Bonaventure, and Aquinas on Blood Relics and Identity
Gerhard of Cologne
Discussions of Blood Relics in the Fifteenth Century
Christ's Blood in the Triduum Mortis
Mayronis and the Barcelona Controversy of 1350-51
John of Capistrano on the Precious Blood
The Triduum Mortis Debate of 1462-64
Some Arguments Attributed to Nicholas of Cusa
Patterns in Dominican and Franciscan Theology
Conclusion
The Assumptions of Blood Piety
A Concern for Immutability
The Immutability Theme at Wilsnack
The Transformed-Hosts Debate: A Deeper Issue
Immutability in Debates over Blood Relics and Treatises de Sanguine
Wholeness and Immutability in Story and Cult
Devotional Images
Conclusion
Living Blood Poured Out
Blood as Fertility
Blood as Social Survival
Blood as Engendering and Gendered
Blood as Sedes Animae
Continuity in Discontinuity: The Exsanguination of Christ
Blood as Alive
Blood as Separated and Shed
The Stress on Separation
Blood as Drops
The Revelation of the Hundred Pater Nosters
Accusation and Reproach
Blood as Symbol
The Deeper Paradox: Sacrifice
Sacrifice and Soteriology
Late Medieval Soteriology
Salvation as Satisfaction and Response: The Conventional Account
Salvation as Participation
Julian of Norwich
Conclusion
Sacrificial Theology
The Biblical and Patristic Background
Destruction and Oblation
Sacrifice in Blood Cult and Controversy
The Sixteenth Century
The Aporia of Sacrifice
Questioning Blood: The Meditations on the Life of Christ
Avoiding Sacrifice
Who Sacrifices? Including/Excluding Christians and Blaming Jews
Sacrifice and the Marking of Matter
Conclusion: Why Blood?
List of Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography of Works Cited
Index
Acknowledgments

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