This week our featured book is Blood: A Critique of Christianity, by Gil Anidjar. In this final post of our feature, we’ve collected a few additional Blood-themed links that we’d like to share. Be sure to enter our book giveaway by 1 PM today for a chance to win a free copy of Blood!
By Gil Anidjar
But blood is a metaphor, is it not? It cannot—more precisely, it should not—be read literally in most of the instances I have recalled. The domains of its operations are not to be over-interpreted, as if one could find bits of flesh and drops of blood in the law or in the economy. Besides, blood is a universal! I have begged to differ on a number of counts here, locating these very claims, along with other moments and practices, in a larger, American hematology. I will now content myself with the following remark: the possibility of reading blood spiritually, the insistence on its metaphoricity, rather than on a literality to be exposed and interrogated—in reading the Old Testament, for instance—is precisely what the formulation I offer here seeks to make explicit.
By Gil Anidjar
Via Political Concepts
The emerging paradox, if it is one, should therefore be clear. Blood is at once very much present, universally so, and absent — or absented — from politics. Its presence is both exceptional (racism, Nazism) and normal, universal. Has the exception become, yet again, the rule? Whereas it might lead us to “question the rationality of the norm itself,” of which blood is the center, a reigning universalism, one capable of finding political theologies at every corner of the globe, partakes of the sedimentation of this paradox, while claiming to resolve it. It would have us accept that blood is everywhere and therefore that politics must be shielded from it. Rendered in a familiar declension: where blood was, there politics shall be.
Finally, in three parts, we are happy to present a roundtable discussion of Professor Anidjar’s work generally and Blood specifically, courtesy of the Faculty of Media and Communications in Belgrade, Serbia.