Friday, 8 May 2015

Carl Griffin: Vessel of Wrath: Judas Iscariot in Cyrillona

The character of Judas features in three Syriac poems by Cyrillona (fl. 399) on the Last Supper and Last Discourse of Jesus. This paper explores the role that Cyrillona creates for Judas as a shocking example of Christ-betrayal, as an antitype of Jesus and the faithful disciples, and as an agent of Jewish intrigue. Judas's dramatic and symbolic potential is cultivated to propel the narrative, but Cyrillona also reveals distinctive exegetical and theological interests in his consideration of the washing of the feet, the giving of the sop, and Judas's departure from the Cenacle. While tracing the lines of reception that connect Cyrillona with earlier Syriac tradition, I also consider ways in which Cyrillona prefigures later dramatizations of Judas.

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