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Judas: Book summary and reviews of Judas by Susan Gubar

Judas

A Biography

by Susan Gubar

Judas by Susan Gubar X
Judas by Susan Gubar
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  • Published Mar 2009
    384 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

In this expansive cultural biography of Judas, prominent scholar Susan Gubar explores the meaning of Jesus' betrayer over twenty centuries. Who was Judas Iscariot and why did he betray Jesus? Despite the recent recovery of a Gnostic Gospel bearing his name, the centrality of the twelfth apostle has gone largely ignored. Yet, because of gaps and incongruities in his appearance in the Bible, artists throughout the ages have returned to this man, whose treacherous act inaugurates Jesus' death and resurrection.

In this comprehensive, interdisciplinary work, Susan Gubar explains that Judas came to stand for the Jewish people because he reflects ambivalence about a composite Judeo-Christianity as well as changing attitudes toward the body, blood, and money; greed and hypocrisy; suicide and repentance; homosexuality and divinity. Over twenty centuries, a figure of disgrace turns into a dignitary. Gubar shows how Jesus' most notorious disciple--known for a kiss--has provoked profound reflections on the problem of evil that still resonate today.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The evolution of the Judas myth is an important story, one not to be missed." - Publishers Weekly.

"Starred Review. An exhaustive, beautifully written cultural history of our favorite wrongdoer, Gubar's work is an immensely rewarding and crucially important book. Highly recommended." - Library Journal.

"If Judas had not existed, God would have had to invent him. The divine script called for betrayal with a kiss, and someone had to be cast in that role. Judas, the intimate friend of the Son, became thus the indispensable collaborator of the Father and a figure of endlessly inviting ambivalence for the Western imagination. Susan Gubar has assembled a tour-de-force collection of Judas-art and Judas-literature and turned it into a Judas biography full of thought, heart, and fascination." - Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography.

"Judas is a dark journey through the murderousness of Christian Anti-Semitism, culminating in the mass slaughter of more than a and their associated European butchers. Lucid, study is close to definitive on the fictive figure of Judas." - Harold Bloom.

This information about Judas was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Susan Gubar

Susan Gubar (Ph.D. University of Iowa) is a Distinguished Professor at Indiana University, where she has won numerous teaching awards, most recently the Faculty Mentor Award from the Indiana University Graduate and Professional Student Organization. In addition to her critical collaboration with Sandra Gilbert, she is the author of Racechanges: White Skin, Black Face in American Culture (1997), Critical Condition: Feminism at the Turn of the Century (2000), Poetry After Auschwitz: Remembering What One Never Knew (2003), and Rooms of Our Own (2006), and editor of the first annotated edition of Woolf's A Room of One's Own (2005).

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