M. Lindsay Kaplan's latest book, Figuring Racism in Medieval Christianity, is now available via Oxford University Press. The book serves to "sharpen our understanding of contemporary racism as well as its historical development" and "expands the study of the history of racism through an analysis of the Christian concept of Jewish hereditary inferiority."
Her novel is also described by Steven F. Kruger, author of The Spectral Jew: Conversion and Embodiment in Medieval Europe, as a "compelling argument that medieval theological discourses of Jewish servitude—based on Christian typological readings of figures like Cain, Ham, and Ishmael—worked to establish Jews as an inferior race. This notion of cursed servitude, elaborated originally on spiritual grounds, nonetheless also contributed to the construction of Jewish bodies as deficient and Jewish inferiority as hereditary. Ultimately also applied to Muslims and Africans, it provided one significant foundation for later European racism. Kaplan's study is groundbreaking."