Who was Judas Iscariot and why did he betray Jesus? Despite the recent recovery of a Gnostic Gospel bearing his name, the centrality of Judas has gone largely ignored. Yet, because of gaps and incongruities in biblical accounts about him, artists throughout the ages have returned to the twelfth apostle, who inaugurates Jesus' death and resurrection.
In this comprehensive, probing book, Susan Gubar explains how Judas came to stand for the Jewish people and how he personifies a composite Judeo-Christianity that illuminates ambivalent relationships between Christians and Jews 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.