Blood is something that all humans share: a vital force that courses through our veins - the giver of life. This book gathers together specially commissioned essays from leading scholars which reflect on the religious, historical, and medical dimensions of blood. The essays encompass history, literature, art history, religious studies and medical humanities, and examine some of the most challenging issues surrounding blood and ritual. Blood is a symbol of shared humanity, yet also a marker of difference. This collection explores the complex meanings of blood and their power both to unite and to divide.