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Three Ways of Viewing Judith
Biblical Heritage: The Culture of Judith

"Find a text in which a female character rebels against patriarchy. What happens to her? Does she become independent and empowered? How is the reader encouraged to feel about her? What is her value system?" (Houston, 231)

"Judith 1-3" represent three possible ways of viewing or constructing the character "Judith". These three pages compare and contrast what the Judith text says about Judith and popular cultural images of Judith. I do not intend to suggest that these three ways are the only ways to view Judith, but that they are possible ways to view Judith. You can view other cultural conceptions of Judith under "Artisans & Images" on the menu above.

Something to think about: While you are reading "Judith 1-3", think about how these views interact with Houston's statement above about feminist criticism. "Julia Kristeva notes that there are three ways that feminists have responded to their subordinated position in society: (1) Liberal feminism, which demands equality for women, (2) Radical feminism, which argues that women are different from and better than men, and (3) Postmodern feminism, which rejects the categories of 'men' and 'women'" (Houston, 225). How does your acceptance of rejection of views of Judith fit Kristeva's model of feminism? Do you think that feminist criticism is useful? Why or why not?

The Return of Judith to Bethulia
Image from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

       ~ Judith 2