The book investigates the periodic resurgence of the Judith legend and how the myth and history become confused. An ambiguous figure, Judith has served symbolic purposes for such diverse groups as Protestant partisans during the Wars of Religion and their Catholic counterparts, aristocratic women supporters of the Protestant Reformation, opponents of the French Revolution, Nazi myth- makers, filmmakers obsessed with gun-toting girls, freedom fighters, partisans in the former Yugoslavia, and many others. Judith’s various guises illuminate central issues of Western consciousnesssex, death, violence, politics, beliefs, identity, psychology, and perversion. In exploring the theme of Judith, an alternative history of Western attitudes emerges. Judith is not so much a killer as a liberating figure challenging our thinking about women and power and showing ways to break free from unconscious attitudes that imprison us.
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