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Abstract

This article examines the way Cyril of Alexandria interprets the Passion narrative in his commentary on the Gospel of John. It argues that besides the doctrinal, christological focus of his exegesis Cyril is concerned with a second issue: the contested masculinity of Jesus and his followers during the events of the Passion. This concern becomes clear when Cyril designates the cross-bearing Jesus as “the type of manly courage” (typos andreías). Following a survey of the current historical masculinity studies, the article examines Cyril’s interpretation of such scenes of the Johannine Passion account where Jesus is depicted as being arrested, beaten and flogged, humiliated and finally crucified – i.e., depicted in a way that might seem to contradict antique ideals of manliness. It finally analyzes Cyril’s explanations as to various “unmanly” or “manly” traits of Jesus’ adversaries, especially of the Jews, and of his followers: Peter, his beloved disciple and his Mother.

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In: Vigiliae Christianae