Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Blasphemy in the Christian World

August 30, 2007

David Nash's study, Blasphemy in the Christian World, focuses on the theological, ecclesiastical, and legal development of blasphemy in the Christian tradition. Tracing the subject from the Middle Ages to the present, he outlines the history of blasphemy as a concept, from a species of heresy to modern understandings of it as a crime against the sacred and individual religious identity. Investigating its appearance in speech, literature, popular publishing and the cinema, he disinters the likely motives and agendas of blasphemers themselves, as well as offering a glimpse into blasphemy's victims. In particular, he seeks to understand why this seemingly medieval offense has reappeared to become a distinctly modern presence in the West.

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