A highlight from 61: The Blood Libel Accusation with Magda Teter


Welcome to jewish history matters. I'm jason leg. And i'm joined today by magden tater to talk about the history of the blood libel accusation and its continued relevance listen in for a wide ranging conversation about the history of the blood libel its origin in mediaeval europe and how it has transformed over the centuries and what it tells us about misinformation and how it spreads magdi. Tater is professor of history and the fiddler chair of judaic studies at fordham university. She's the author of numerous books. Most recently blood libel on the trail of an antisemitic. Myth which will talk about today. The blood libel is one of the long-standing false accusations against the jews. It is the myth in different variations and incarnations the jews murdered christian children and used their blood for various rituals. And it's obviously patently false but somehow people still believe it. And it has persisted. Across nearly a thousand years from medieval england to nazi anti semitism and beyond we can see the ways in which the imagery of the blood libel and it's false narrative persists even in new reconfigured forms like the conspiracy theories of cunanan as mark the these accusations across the centuries and different places and in different times became a vehicle for different anxieties about jews and about people's lives at large. And so we can see the blood libel in a certain way as a mirror of the fears that people had not just about jews but about all sorts of issues nevertheless the blood libel is not just a relic of medieval superstition. Or something like that. It's something which has changed with the times and which in many ways has piggybacked off of new technologies and new developments and this is one of magdi key arguments which is that. It's the printing press that enabled the proliferation and persistence of these false myths and disinformation which when published allowed them both to spread more widely. And also give these false accusations in air of quote unquote respectability because the existed in print in the first place and so this allows us to think deeply about the role of media technologies both image evil and early modern europe and also more recently with things like the radio. The newspaper even the internet as avenues. Not for the spread of information but rather of information. Thank you so much for listening in to this conversation. I hope that you'll check out. Magas book blood libel and also the accompanying web site the blood libel trail dot org where you can learn more about

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