The text in question is the Book of Judith
, found in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox versions of the Old Testament.
The Book of Judith
never made it into the Jewish canon, and the original Hebrew version, probably from the first or second century BCE, was lost.
Its four-part structure--"The Book of Daniel," "The Book of Elias," "The Book of Judith
," and "Genesis"--interrogates the meaning of heresy in its many contexts.
Their topics include patriarchy with a twist: men and women in Tobit, the banishment of the demon in Tobit: textual variants as a result of enculturation, the function of the speeches and prayers in the Book of Judith
, whether Judith is a pious widow turned femme fatale or more, and seduction and powers in Judith and Death Proof.
Curiously, the fact that the Book of Judith
was removed from Protestant Bibles by Du Bartas's time is not mentioned until the following chapter, in which Llewellyn examines the Imitation de la victoire de Judich by Catholic poet, Gabrielle de Coignard (published posthumously in 1594).
In the book of Judith
, a simple and courageous widow, rather than an army, saves her people from destruction by a powerful enemy.
The account of Judith beheading Holofernes is given in the deuterocanonical book of Judith
according to which Holofernes was an Assyrian general about to destroy the city of Bethulia.
This presumes that hearers will be unfamiliar with the text, which is taken from a Matins response in the Sarum Rite, itself adapted from the Book of Judith
. Yet, this information does not appear on the wall text or in the installation guide.
THE Book of Judith
tells of an Israelite town besieged by the Assyrian army, who cut off the town's water supply.
TOMORROW: The Book of Judith
, Sefton Park Palm House, Sefton Park, Liverpool, 7.30pm.