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The Sleep of BehemothDisputing Peace and Violence in Medieval Europe, 1000-1200$
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Jehangir Yezdi Malegam

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451324

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451324.001.0001

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Dueling Sacraments

Dueling Sacraments

The Communion of Judas Iscariot

(p.115) Chapter 4 Dueling Sacraments
The Sleep of Behemoth

Jehangir Yezdi Malegam

Cornell University Press

This chapter shows how Judas imagery had brought together several related concerns about the peace of the church. Peace was a sacrament, held to be so in oaths of reconciliation (sacramenta), alliances, and of course in the Mass itself. It therefore had the potential for misuse, distortion, and falsification. Judas exemplified a purveyor of false peace, not only because he was a sinful priest but because he had traded God’s body for money and had taken communion with him while holding treason in his heart. Debates over what Judas had taken at the Last Supper thus became a means of expressing clerical concerns about mirror sacraments and the falsification of peace on earth. In the process of resolving the question of Judas’s communion, the early twelfth-century canon Alger of Liège created a theological framework for membership in the church, whereby the Eucharist distinguished between true and false peace.

Keywords:   Eucharist, false peace, Judas Iscariot, Judas imagery, communion, sacramenta, mirror sacraments, sacraments

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