Christ Killers: The Jews and the Pas­sion from the Bible to the Big Screen

Jere­my Cohen
  • Review
By – November 14, 2011
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.

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