Monday, February 29, 2016

JUDAS: troubling history of the renegade apostle

Author Peter Stanford (Judas) with interviewer Mitch Jeserich (Letters and Politics,, Berkeley); Amber Larson, CC Liu, Sheldon S. (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly UPDATED
Ultra Orthodox Jews in Israel party through the streets with the Easter Bunny (HH).
Easter eggs: Christian appropriation of Paganism part of Roman psy-ops (iheartradio)
Blame it on the Jews: Nazis in 1933 encouraged boycott of Jewish shops (

Peter Stanford is a British writer, editor, journalist, and presenter. He is known for his biographies and writings on religion and ethics. His most recent book is Judas: The Troubling History of the Renegade Apostle.
ABOUT THE BOOK: In this fascinating historical and cultural biography, writer and broadcaster Peter Stanford deconstructs that most vilified of Bible characters, Judas Iscariot.

Rabbi/kidnapper Mendel Epstein (AP)
Judas the Jew (Yahuda the Yahudi) famously "betrayed" Jesus (Y'shua) with a kiss. Beginning with the gospel accounts, Stanford explores 2,000 years of cultural and theological history to investigate how the very name Judas -- which sounds just like "Jewish" -- came to be synonymous with betrayal and, ultimately, human evil.

Hey, Y'shua, let me betray you with a kiss. - D'uh, Yazuda, isn't that what we agreed? - Yes.
But as Stanford points out, there has long been a counter-current of thought that suggests that Judas might in fact have been victim of a terrible injustice:

Central to Jesus’ mission on earth (to save humanity by magic/human sacrifice/scapegoating) was his death and resurrection. And for there to have been a death, there had to be a betrayal. This thankless role fell to Judas.

Bob Dylan: Was Judas on God's side?
So should we, in fact, be grateful to Judas for his role in the divine drama of our human salvation [going to heaven rather than actual "salvation"/liberation, namely, freedom from all further suffering and rebirth, as taught by the historical Buddha and the Dharmic religions]?
"You’ll have to decide," as Bob Dylan sang in the 1960s, "Whether Judas Iscariot had God on his side."
I'm Jewy Jewison a Judas (Charlie Hebdo)
An essential but doomed character in the Passion ("suffering") narrative, and thus the entire story of Christianity, Judas and the betrayal he symbolizes continue to play out in much larger cultural histories, speaking as he does to our deepest fears about friendship, betrayal, and the problem of evil.
Judas, the ultimate traitor, or the ultimate scapegoat? This is a compelling portrait of Christianity’s most troubling and mysterious character. More + AUDIO

American Reform rabbis warn of alienation from Israel Recent gathering of American Reform rabbis in Jerusalem was meant to celebrate the small gains the liberal Jewish movement has made in Israel in recent years. But a series of comments by Israeli officials denigrating the group marred the event, reflecting an awkward relationship that many fear is alienating the world's second-largest Jewish community from Israel (AP).

No comments: