Using Judas: what early depictions of Judas Iscariot can tell us about their authors

Matthews, Celia-Jayne (2019) Using Judas: what early depictions of Judas Iscariot can tell us about their authors. MA(Res) thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Whilst the vast majority of Christian scholarship in antiquity focusses on the historical and the theological person of Jesus, as well as Christian discipleship, it is clear that Judas scholarship is in the minority. This dissertation sets out to study and analyse literary depictions of Judas Iscariot in antiquity – here, meaning from the New Testament writings (Paul and the Gospels), and a selection of texts from the first century through to the thirteenth century CE. As well as examining how Judas is depicted in these texts, and what sort of role he plays within the overarching narrative, I will also consider how he is used by early writers in light of particular themes, such as anti-Semitism or anti-Judaism. Whilst most of these texts are by no means scholarly or academic, the literature provides a basis for understanding the role of Judas, and in turn, the Jews, within early Christian understanding.

The methods used throughout this thesis are primarily historical – that is, looking at these texts from a historical perspective, analysing themes that these texts have in common, how they link together, and how anti-Judaism shows itself in these texts through the writers’ uses of Judas Iscariot. My research shows that later writers take aspects of judas found in earlier texts, such as the Gospels, and exaggerate them in order to push a political agenda against Jews and, subsequently, in favour of Christianity.

Of course, this is just a small selection of texts (not inclusive of early artwork or architecture, for example) from antiquity, and should I research a similar topic in the future, to include such examples of Christian culture, and perhaps some later ones, would develop this research further and perhaps produce new or different findings.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MA(Res))
Supervisors: Parks, Sara
Keywords: Judas Iscariot; anti-Judaism; New Testament writers
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 59214
Depositing User: Matthews, CeliaJayne
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2020 08:18
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 09:33

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