From publisher's description: "Cohen tracks the image of the Jew as the murderer of the messiah and God from its origins to its most recent expressions. He uncovers the remarkably far-ranging impact this myth has exercised on Western culture in all its breadth: from religion to politics, from philosophy to literature, from the visual to the performing arts. Ultimately, he shows that what we learn from this history has much to do with those who told and received the myth but little to do with its main characters (Jesus, Judas, the high priests of the Temple, Pilate, and the Jews of Jerusalem). A great deal has been written about Christian anti-Semitism, its roots, and its horrific consequences in world history. This is the first book, however, to focus on the powerful myth that has driven so much murderous hatred. An important addition to the literature on Jewish-Christian relations, it should appeal to a wide variety of readers in both communities."