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Islam, Christianity and the Realms of the MiraculousA Comparative Exploration$
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Ian Richard Netton

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780748699063

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748699063.001.0001

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(p.86) 4 Blood
Islam, Christianity and the Realms of the Miraculous

Ian Richard Netton

Edinburgh University Press

The chapter opens once more by an examination of proto-blood miracles in the Islamic and Christian traditions. Within the Christian Domain there is an examination of the healing of the centurion Longinus whom tradition places at the foot of the cross and whose poor eyesight is miraculously healed by contact with the blood of Christ. Reference is made, by contrast, to the blood-clot mentioned in Sura 96 of the Qur’an. The next section surveys Eucharistic miracles such as that of Bolsena in 1263 in which the elevated host at Mass is seen to drip blood. The healing powers of spilled blood by martyred saints such as Thomas Becket are referenced. All this contrasts with the spilling of blood in Islamic sufi narrations, and the spilling of the blood of the famous sufi mystic, al-Hallaj, who was brutally murdered in 922. From a narrative perspective it is emphasised that blood has a universal significance in both the Islamic and Christian traditions, especially from the perspective of the martyrdoms of such saints as Becket, al-Husayn and al-Hallaj whose deaths give rise to many miracles.

Keywords:   Longinus, Bolsena, Eucharistic miracles, Becket, Al-Husayn, Al-Hallaj, Healing

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