Abraham's Knife: The Mythology of the Deicide in Anti-semitismby Judith Civan
Christians may take the idea of deicide for granted but to Jews it is a bizarre notion, especially when it is turned against them, becoming the accusation of "You killed Christ" and setting in motion the antisemitic acts of the last two thousand years of history. Over and over again,/center>/b>… See more details below
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Christians may take the idea of deicide for granted but to Jews it is a bizarre notion, especially when it is turned against them, becoming the accusation of "You killed Christ" and setting in motion the antisemitic acts of the last two thousand years of history. Over and over again, Jews ask, "Why do they hate us?" and protest their innocence and their standing as good citizens of their societies.
With a background as a student of literature and a journalist, Judith Civan set out to explain first for her own understanding and then for others who are similarly bewildered, the origin and meaning of the deicide charge, the least rational and most powerful of the various ingredients of antisemitism. Where did this idea originate and how could it have played such an important role in Western culture and history over some two millenia? Drawing upon biblical scholarship and the work of historians of subsequent periods, Civan has attempted a literary analysis of the figures of Abraham, Isaac, Jesus, Judas, and Shylock which might make some sense of this persistent and pernicious myth.
Though weakened by the reforms of Vatican II, the deicide myth has not been disposed of and it is still vitally important to try to understand it. It is important not only for the safety of Jews who only recently suffered the devastation of the Holocaust, but also for the health and moral integrity of Western culture. Civan concludes that the accusation of deicide is so virulent because it is not so much about the killing of God as it is about the sacrifice of children, about parental love, ambivalence and guilt, and the human sense of vulnerability.
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