This readable yet scholarly study investigates the historical developments of the Christ-killer myth. The reader will understand how texts and interpretive traditions have been used to substantiate anti-Jewish ideas that lead to harmful policies and actions toward Jews and Jewish communities. The aim of this in-depth study is not to explain or deny the death of Jesus or its meaning for Christians, but to understand how identifying the Jews as Christ killers, including the many ways that this accusation has been rationalized and often attributed to all Jews as if collectively responsible, has functioned in Christian rhetoric. Critical discussion includes the denunciation of this accusation by Vatican II, but traces also its perpetuation since, for example, in popular cultural media such as in plays and on screen. Bibliography and index.
Mark D. Nanos, Ph.D., University of Kansas, is the author of Mysteryof Romans, winner of the 1996 National Jewish Book Award, Charles H. RevsonAward in Jewish-Christian Relations.