SUMMER READING SALE! 30% off all eBooks until Sept 2nd! Blood and Kinship: Matter for Metaphor from Ancient Rome to the Present | BERGHAHN BOOKS
Join our Email List Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Blood and Kinship: Matter for Metaphor from Ancient Rome to the Present

View Table of Contents

See Related
History Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Blood and Kinship

Matter for Metaphor from Ancient Rome to the Present

Edited by Christopher H. Johnson, Bernhard Jussen, David Warren Sabean, and Simon Teuscher

368 pages, 6 illus., 1 table, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-749-3 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (January 2013)

ISBN  978-1-78238-177-8 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (October 2015)

eISBN 978-0-85745-750-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Blood & Kinship is an important contribution to the anthropology of kinship, by providing significant analyses of how kinship in Europe has been understood distinctly through time, incorporating blood as metaphor in different ways.” · Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“The collection of essays is a welcome contribution not only to the so-called New Kinship Studies, but also to the history of the substance of blood.” · H-Soz-Kult

“This is a book of astonishing quality, comprising a wealth of outstanding studies that underline the various shifts and mutations that took place mostly in the late medieval and late modern periods. It is true that issues of gender could play a more prevalent role and that discourses and semantic issues are largely privileged over visual matters, cultural practices, and material culture, but rather than a critique this is an invitation for further investigations on those aspects. In any case, those limitations certainly do not make this book less inspiring and pioneering regarding the history of the blood metaphor and its shifting meanings.” · Contributions to the History of Concepts

“Has family and kinship always met the same thing throughout our history? [This volume] is a collection of scholarly essays on history and anthropology looking at the foundations of western culture and history. Exploring the concept of blood and daring to take a very different perspective on the ideas of blood, many academic and scholarly minds come together to bring many fresh perspectives on these cultures. Tracing thousands of years of history and culture and offering an interesting twist of ideas throughout, Blood & Kinshipis an excellent and highly recommended addition to history and anthropology community and college library collections.” · Library Bookwatch

“This is an excellent book, a sophisticated collection of scholarship that raises questions important not only to historians but also to anthropologists and other social scientists. I loved reading it…” · Jared Poley, Georgia State University


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.

Christopher H. Johnson is Professor Emeritus of History at Wayne State University. A National Book Award nominee and Guggenheim Fellow, his publications include The Life and Death of Industrial Languedoc, 1700-1920: The Politics of De-Industrialization (1995).

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).

David Warren Sabean is Henry J. Bruman Professor of German History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His publications include Kinship in Neckarhausen, 1700-1870 (1998).

Simon Teuscher is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Zurich. His publications include Lord's Rights and Peasant Stories. Writing and the Formation of Tradition in the Later Middle Ages (2012).

Of Related Interest: Kinship in Europe
Approaches to Long-Term Development (1300-1900)
Edited by David Warren Sabean, Simon Teuscher and Jon Mathieu   Sibling Relations and the Transformation of European Kinship, 1300-1900
Edited by Christopher H. Johnson and David Warren Sabean   Transregional and Transnational Families in Europe and Beyond
Experiences since the Middle Ages
Edited by Christopher H. Johnson, David Warren Sabean, Simon Teuscher and Francesca Trivellato

Subject: History (General)Anthropology (General)
Area: Europe


Back to Top

Library Recommendation Form

Dear Librarian,

I would like to recommend Blood and Kinship Matter for Metaphor from Ancient Rome to the Present for the library. Please include it in your next purchasing review with my strong recommendation. The RRP is: $145.00

I recommend this title for the following reasons:

BENEFIT FOR THE LIBRARY: This book will be a valuable addition to the library's collection.

REFERENCE: I will refer to this book for my research/teaching work.

STUDENT REFERRAL: I will regularly refer my students to the book to assist their studies.

OWN AFFILIATION: I am an editor/contributor to this book or another book in the Series (where applicable) and/or on the Editorial Board of the Series, of which this volume is part.