Blood and Defilement: Christology

Janet Martin Soskice

in The Kindness of God

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780198269502
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683657 | DOI:
Blood and Defilement: Christology

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This chapter addresses the notion of Christ being a woman and the symbolism of blood. The Summa Theologiae provides the most common argument as to why Christ should be born a man: ‘Because the male excels the female sex, Christ assumed a man's nature,’ adding, ‘So that people should not think little of the female sex, it was fitting that he should take flesh from a woman’. It also provides an account of the New Testament's view on female blood both as a source of life and defilement. The chapter's coda examines the symbolism of New Testament texts involving blood. Leviticus prohibits the drinking of blood, yet the central Christian rite involves the drinking of blood. The chapter concludes that the subversion of symbols from shame to glory which characterizes Christian texts does not depart from Jewish practice, for symbolic orders constantly change over time.

Keywords: Summa Theologiae; menstruation; female blood; source of life; Leviticus; Jewish practice; symbolism; New Testament; Christ as a woman

Chapter.  4882 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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