Bynum argues that Christ's blood as both object and symbol was central to late medieval art, literature, and religious life. As cult object, blood provided a focus of theological debate about the nature of matter, body, and God and an occasion for Jewish persecution; as motif, blood became a central symbol in popular devotion.
Caroline Walker Bynum is Professor of Medieval History at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Past president of both the American Historical Association and the Medieval Academy of America, she was a MacArthur Fellow from 1986 to 1991. She is the author of numerous books, including Metamorphosis and Identity, The Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200-1336, Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion, and Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women, and is the editor, with Paul Freedman, of Last Things: Eschatology and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, also published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.
Winner of Awarded the 2011 Haskins Medal from the Medieval Institute of America and Received the 2007 Award for Excellence in the Historical Study of Religion from the American Academy of Religion and Winner of the 2009 Otto Gruendler Prize from the Medieval Institute and Awarded the 2011 Haskins Medal from the Medieval Academy of America.