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Video: Video: The Original Fake News? The Norwich Blood Libel, the Cult of Saint Thomas, and medieval Christianity

In this Parkes Lecture, Professor Miri Rubin (Queen Mary University, London) discusses the origins and longevity of the Blood Libel in England. Here the death of a child, nascent anti-Semitism and medieval motifs of innocence, faith, predator and prey combined to terrible, and lasting effect. As Professor Rubin notes, the cult of St. William of Norwich is as much a product of popular culture as it is of religiosity and fear of the other. Is this, then, an early example of 'fake news'? Powerful emotions and fears did of course play a role, but so too did early Christianity's focus on martyrdom. Ultimately, the cult of 'our boy William' reveals far more about Christianity at the time than its adherents might have realised. As an aside, the lecture also details the role played by ghost story author and medieval scholar MR James in rediscovering the original source material, and how the narrative endured even after the expulsion of England's Jews in 1290. For example, the Prioress's Tale, written by Chaucer in the late 14th Century. Professor Rubin's lecture was given at the University of Southampton on 23 January 2018, and was organised by the Parkes Institute, one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations. The Parkes Lecture takes place every year, and is part of a series of events organised by the Institute. If you are interested in our work, please visit our web site, or contact us for more details: Parkes Institute E: parkes at southampton dot ac dot uk T: +44 (0)23 8059 2261 www.southampton.ac.uk/parkes These videos can be used as secondary sources by students and researchers. To make this easy, we have provided ready-made bibliography entries below, based on the Harvard, MHRA and Chicago referencing systems. Sadly, YouTube doesn't allow formatting or like certain symbols, and will not let them be used in the description text. So, we’ve used the following instead. Please substitute with the real symbol or format when you paste the source into your bibliography: {i}TEXT{/i} - Italicise the text inbetween and remove {i} and {/i}. {{TEXT}} - Replace {{ and }} with triangular brackets. HARVARD: Rubin, M. (2018) {i}The Murder Accusation against the Jews of Norwich (1144): Meaning, Memory and Legacy.{/i} [Video] University of Southampton. Available at: https://youtu.be/HSwwSZLWO3o (Accessed: DATE MONTH YEAR) MHRA: Rubin, Miri, {i}The Murder Accusation against the Jews of Norwich (1144): Meaning, Memory and Legacy.{/i} (online video recording), University of Southampton, 23 January 2018, {{https://youtu.be/HSwwSZLWO3o}} [accessed DATE MONTH YEAR]. CHICAGO: Rubin, Miri. “The Murder Accusation against the Jews of Norwich (1144): Meaning, Memory and Legacy.” Filmed January 2018. University of Southampton video, 00:47:44. Posted February 2020. https://youtu.be/HSwwSZLWO3o.
Parkes InstitutelecturesEducationJewish HistoryJudaismBlood LibelNorwichMR JamesFake NewsWilliam of NorwichChaucerThe Prioress's TaleMiri RubinParkes InstituteMedieval Christianity

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The Original Fake News? The Norwich Blood Libel, the Cult of Saint Thomas, and medieval Christianity