The Book of Judith tells the story of a fictitious Jewish woman beheading Holofernes, the general of a powerful army, to free her people. The story has fascinated artists and authors for centuries, and is becoming a major field of research in its own right.
The Sword of Judith is the first multidisciplinary collection of essays to discuss representations of Judith throughout the centuries. Bringing together scholars from around the world, it transforms our understanding of Judith’s enduring story across a wide range of disciplines. The book includes sections on Judith in Christian, Jewish and secular textual traditions, as well as representations of Judith in art, music and theatre. The collection includes new archival source studies and the translation of unpublished manuscripts and texts previously unavailable in English.
Since publication this book has been viewed over 9600 times (last updated March 2014).
Title: The Sword of Judith: Judith Studies Across the Disciplines
Editors: Kevin R. Brine, Elena Ciletti and Henrike Lähnemann
Publication date: September 2010
Number of pages: xviii + 511
Dimensions: 6.14" x 9.21"
Illustrations: 53 black and white
BIC Subject Codes: HRCG (Biblical studies & exegesis), HBTB (Social & cultural history)
ISBN Paperback: 978-1-906924-15-7
ISBN Hardback: 978-1-906924-16-4
ISBN Digital (PDF): 978-1-906924-17-1
© 2010 Kevin R. Brine, Elena Ciletti and Henrike Lähnemann
The Sword of Judith: Judith Studies Across the Disciplines, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Further details about CC-BY-NC-ND licenses are available at: http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/
1. The Judith Project
Kevin R. Brine
2. The Jewish Textual Traditions
Deborah Levine Gera
3. Judith in the Christian Tradition
Elena Ciletti and Henrike Lähnemann
Part 1. Writing Judith
1.1 Jewish Textual Traditions
4. Holofernes's Canopy in the Septuagint
5. Shorter Medieval Hebrew Tales of Judith
Deborah Levine Gera
6. Food, Sex, and Redemption in Megillat Yehudit (the "Scroll of Judith")
7. Shalom bar Abraham's Book of Judith in Yiddish
Ruth von Bernuth and Michael Terry
1.2 Christian Textual Tradition
8. Typology and Agency in Prudentius's Treatment of the Judith Story
9. Judith in Late Anglo-Saxon England
10. The Prayer of Judith in Two Late-Fifteenth-Century French Mystery Plays
11. The Example of Judith in Early Modern French Literature
Kathleen M. Llewellyn
12. The Aestheticization of Tyrannicide: Du Bartas's La Judit
13. The Cunning of Judith in Late Medieval German Texts
14. The Role of Judith in Margaret Fell's Womens Speaking Justified
Part 2. Staging Judith
2.1 Visual Arts
15. Judith, Jael, and Humilitas in the Speculum Virginum
16. Judith between the Private and Public Realms in Renaissance Florence
Roger J. Crum
17. Donatello's Judith as the Emblem of God's Chosen People
Sarah Blake McHam
18. Costuming Judith in Italian Art of the Sixteenth Century
19. Judith Imagery as Catholic Orthodoxy in Counter-Reformation Italy
2.2 Music and Drama
20. Judith, Music, and Female Patrons in Early Modern Italy
21. Judith in Baroque Oratorio
22. Judith in the Italian Unification Process, 1800-1900
23. Marcello and Peri's Giuditta (1860)
24. Politics, Biblical Debates, and French Dramatic Music on Judith after 1870
25. Judith and the "Jew-Eaters" in German Volkstheater
Gabrijela Mecky Zaragoza
Kevin R. Brine, the founder and director of the Judith Project, is an independent scholar and visual artist. He is Member of the Board of Overseers of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of New York University, and the co-founder, with Clifford Siskin, of The Re:Enlightenment Project at New York University and The New York Public Library. Brine co-edited, with Garland Cannon, Object of Enquiry: The Life, Contributions and Influence of Sir William Jones (1746-1797) (1995). His paintings are published in Kevin R. Brine: The Porch of the Caryatids: Drawings, Paintings and Sculptures (2006).
Elena Ciletti is a Professor of Art History at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, where she teaches Renaissance through to eighteenth-century art in Europe, women artists and their patrons, and African-American art. Among her publications are the essays "Patriarchal Ideology in Renaissance Iconography of Judith," in Refiguring Woman: Perspectives on Gender and the Italian Renaissance (1991) and "'Gran macchina è bellezza:' Looking at the Gentileschi Judiths," in The Artemisia Files (2005). She is working on a book-length study of Artemisia Gentileschi and the imagery of Judith in Catholic Reformation culture.
Modern Language Review 107 (April 2012), pp. 663-65
This was a truly collaborative project with very impressive results. In a review of a collection of essays it is customary to say that some are more successful than others, but since these essays cover different aspects of the Judith tradition in a thoroughly complementary way, they all contribute. [...] The essays brim with new examples, new insights, new comparisons. For those of us who have been scouring the literature for years looking for scholarship on the shifting interpretation of Judith, it is a quantum leap forward.
Professor of Biblical Studies
Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge MA
The Sword of Judith collects essays across a huge range of disparate approaches. It also is a new kind of book: you can buy it as a bound volume, or read it on a website with free access and a very large number of hyperlinks to a range of original texts, articles and studies, discussion threads, and, of course, images. [...] The essays are by authors learned in fields of unusual variety (hence the subtitle), who write informatively about a small number of characters who have offered material for retelling and ethical argument for over 2,000 years.
Times Literary Supplement (10 December 2010), p. 27
There is also a huge collection of images of Judith and Holofernes on ARTstor. Further information about the collection is available here. For those with institutional access to ARTstor, the URL for the collection itself is here.
The New York Public Library is host to The Judith Project, which is a multidisciplinary collaborative effort under the academic guidance of a distinguished panel of Judith scholars from around the world. The mission of The Judith Project is to enhance scholarship on The Book of Judith and on the theme of Judith and Holofernes in Western culture from antiquity to the present. More information, together with a comprehensive bibliographic reference tool, can be found here.