“Cute as Hell: Judas Iscariot, Medieval and Present”

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Cute as Hell: Judas Iscariot, Medieval and Present

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Cute for the Middle Ages

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Nearly two decades after De Pulchra et Apto — his lost Manichean work on the beautiful and the fitting — Augustine relates his evolved position on beauty in these terms: “The eyes delight in beautiful shapes of different sorts and bright and attractive colours. I would not have these things take possession of my soul. Let God possess it, he who made them all. He made them all very good, but it is he who is my Good, not they.” 1 From the Neoplatonist views of Augustine and Pseudo-Dionysius to the Aristotelian gestures of Thomas Aquinas, the medieval conception of beauty varied in its details from thinker to thinker; nonetheless, it retained a moral and theological core that extolled God as the ultimate source and manifestation of beauty 2 To be beautiful was to be good, and to be good was to be the image of God. But what space, if any, does this sort of framework leave for the “cute”? What is the medieval counterpart to this odd and awkward aesthetic category, populated by things that we so often define by how they diverge from the perfection of beauty?

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 In retroactively projecting cuteness onto the Middle Ages, my aim is not to argue that there was a medieval notion of cuteness per se that predates the word to express it, nor that Judas Iscariot would have been readily designated as a site for cuteness by any medieval theologian. Rather, I want to examine the processes of appreciation and subjugation that are at work in finding something or someone to be cute, and to take a closer look at some medieval portrayals of Judas that display an echo of such operations. At least in the medieval leg of this paper, it matters little whether Judas is verifiably like a small baby animal or a bright-eyed cartoon mascot, only that the medieval Judas is conceived of in ways that place him in a relation to the beholder that is analogous to the relation between the modern audience and what we pronounce to be cute.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 The working definition of “cute” that I would like to construct here takes the formulations of Daniel Harris and Sianne Ngai as a basis. Both theorize cuteness as being an aesthetic category inseparable from consumerism; in his self-professed jeremiad, Harris “delves into the ways in which the ostensibly purposeless appearance of consumerist debris affects us psychologically,” 3 and Ngai traces the “commodity aesthetic of cuteness” 4 to its historical point of origin in the development of the feminized domestic sphere in middle-class American homes of the 19th century, “organized primarily around commodities and consumption.” 5 However, it is trickier business to pinpoint what physical features might be associated with cuteness. Ngai calls cuteness “an exact cross between the dainty and dumpy,” 6 and Harris writes, “Cuteness is not an aesthetic in the ordinary sense of the word and must by no means be mistaken for the physically appealing, the attractive. In fact, it is closely linked to the grotesque, the malformed.” 7 This seems unobjectionable enough at first glance, but it is difficult to square his description of The Simpsons as “a direct subversion of the insipidity of cuteness, with its cartoon characters’ harshly contoured shapes, gaping, lipless mouths, and enormous boiled-egg eyes” 8 with the ubiquity of the same characters in merchandising directly designed to appeal through cuteness, from Funko Pop! figures to Band-Aids to Marge Simpson’s face and blue beehive on a line of products released by MAC Cosmetics.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 What specific features any individual feels to be cute may ultimately be a case of variable mileage, but on the whole, cuteness is understood as something carefully quarantined away from beauty. Ngai also points out that cuteness is an example of an aesthetic category that is “fundamentally non-theological, unable to foster religious awe and uncoupling the experience of art from the discourse of spiritual transcendence,” 9 in contrast to the sublime. Unlike cuteness, sublimity was a notion current to the Middle Ages, closely related to the attributes of God. Augustine links the force and effectiveness of the sublime style to its “source in divinity,” 10 and Cistercian doctrine ties the sublime to divine grace in particular. “Grace is, in a certain sense, something sublime and grandiose, because it is the manifestation of divine grace: It is the sensible transpiring of the beautiful soul and of the divine image, and ultimately, of God himself.” 11 Moving metonymically through this chain of associations, it is possible to develop a concept of the cute as that which is adamantly not beautiful, and thus conspicuously alien from the divine and all its attendant connotations of goodness. At the same time, the cute is still valued in one way or another; Ngai stresses that the emotions elicited by cuteness are “mixed or equivocal feelings,” 12 but backhanded as the compliment may at times be, it strikes me as being a compliment nonetheless.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 That is, if the aesthetic can be comprehended in theological terms through the figure of God, it raises the question of what the medieval Christian equivalent of cuteness might be. What would it mean for something — or someone — to be recognized as located far from the divine, to be defined for the distance of their remove from the divine, and yet for that shortcoming to hold some amount of value? How might someone’s moral failures be the very thing that renders them meaningful? Enter the medieval Judas.

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 A portrait of Judas Iscariot as a medieval limit case
In his extensive study of the motif, Paull Franklin Baum gives the name “the mediæval legend of Judas Iscariot” 13 to an interesting phenomenon found throughout texts produced in late medieval Europe. In these works — dramatic scripts, hagiographies in prose and poetry, in Latin and the vernacular — Judas is given a sordid backstory that reads in part like a direct copy of the story of Oedipus. Whether it is a linear descendant of the Oedipus mythor simply the result of homoplasy is debatable, with Baum arguing for the former 14 and Lowell Edmunds for the latter. 15 Whatever its origins may be, the story was popular enough to appear “across the whole of Europe, in almost every language,” 16 spawning numerous variant versions. Baum conjectures that the widespread popularity of the legend was due to its inclusion in the Legenda Aurea, as part of the entry on Saint Matthias the Apostle, and the major vernacular treatments of the subject matter produced and consumed in late medieval England — the Legenda (in both Latin and Caxton’s translation), the South English Legendary, and the Suspencio Iude from the Towneley plays — appear not to deviate significantly from one another in content. 17
The gist of the legend is this: Ciborea, wife of Reuben, is pregnant with a child who (as is told to her in a prophetic dream) will cause the ruin of the Jewish people. They come to the realization that they cannot allow this infant to live, but neither can they bring themselves to murder their own offspring. The child is set adrift on the sea in a basket, and washes ashore on the coastline of Scarioth (hence Iscariot) where he is discovered by its childless queen. Thus Judas is raised by the royal couple, far from his birthplace of Jerusalem, but trouble begins to brew when the queen gives birth to a son. Judas resents his adoptive younger brother, torments him endlessly, and finally murders him. Having fled to Jerusalem to escape punishment, he joins the court of Pilate and becomes his trusted right-hand man. One day, Pilate comes across a garden with magnificent apple trees and is consumed with desire for the fruit. In the course of breaking, entering, and stealing, Judas kills the owner of the garden, and eventually marries the widow. When she relates the account of all the hardships she has suffered in her life, Judas realizes that he is the baby she relegated to the sea, and that he has killed his father and married his mother. In an attempt to right his wrongs as best as he can, he seeks out Jesus Christ and becomes a member of the inner apostolic circle. However, he does not last long in this position before he lapses back into his old reprehensible ways, betraying Christ for thirty pieces of silver and hanging himself when he is overcome with regret.
The Oedipal addition to what is already a miserable character arc in its Biblical form has the effect of doubling and thus emphasizing several salient features present in the story of Judas. Lee Patterson sees the most important link between Judas and Oedipus as being despair: “As the son is called back to the mother, so is Judas called back to his original nature; and the paternal injunction of penance — ‘you can be saved if you will worthily repent’ — must be rejected both now and forever. Despair is, after all, the inability to repent– the inability, that is, to change.” 18 The recursive cycle of sin and suffering, as embodied by Oedipus in specific and the Thebes of the Thebaid in general, is understood here to be playing out — in the form of a sexual drama — the same compulsion towards stagnancy that leads Judas to suicide. There are other possible ways of knitting Judas and Oedipus together, 19 and of these, I want to turn our attention to what Baum calls “a wish to show that no matter how great the sin, true repentance brings full pardon.” 20

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 By supplying Judas’s life before his apostolic career with a series of appalling crimes spanning the gamut from fratricide to thievery to patricide to incest, the Oedipal backstory represents him as a man whose sins are more numerous — and perhaps more immediately visceral — than the betrayal for which he is so infamous. But medieval exegetical tradition is surprisingly lenient towards Judas’s betrayal of Christ; the unforgiveable sin that damns him to hell is not the selling of the Messiah, but the aforementioned despair. The argument is that Judas was wrong to assume that divine mercy would never be able to absolve him for the betrayal, and his choice to deny the efficacy of penance and the possibility of grace was the most sinful act of all. 21 Comparing the accounts of Judas’s death in Jacobus de Voragine’s Latin Legenda and Caxton’s English translation makes this soteriological assertion visible on the narrative level. The Latin reads: “Quos tamen penitentia ductus retulit et abiens laqueo se suspendit et suspensus crepuit medius et diffusa sunt uiscera eius … Dignum etiam erat ut uiscera que proditionem conceperant rupta caderent et guttur a quo uox proditionis exierat laqueo artaretur.” 22 In contrast, the corresponding section of the Caxton is: “and nevertheless at the last he brought them again to the temple, and after hung himself in despair, and his body opened and cleft asunder and his bowels fell out.” 23 There is no mention in the English of the “bowels which had conceived the betrayal” or “the throat from which had emerged the voice of the traitor.” 24 Caxton’s Englishing takes conscious care to highlight despair, even at the cost of eliminating outright references to betrayal at this crucial final moment. 25

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 Heaping a host of additional sins on top of what Judas is held accountable for in scripture prods at the outer boundaries of this doctrine. If a traitor like Judas could have been redeemed through divine mercy, would the same hold true when he is also guilty of several murders and incest to boot? When is the grace of God incapable of reaching someone? Within this theological framework at least, the correct answer is never. The atonement of the eponymous protagonist in the morality play Mankind can be read as an alternate history in which the what-if scenario of Judas’s repentance is explored. Ashamed of the prodigal life he has led, Mankind seeks to hang himself from a tree rather than face Mercy again. “Yt ys so abhominabyll to rehers my iterat transgrescion, / I am not worthy to have mercy be no possibilite … The egall justyse of God wyll not permytte sych a synfull wrech / To be revyvyd and restoryd ageyn; that were impossibyll,” he says. Mercy replies, “Aryse and aske mercy, Mankend, and be associat to me. / Thy deth schall be my hevynesse; alas, tys pety yt schwld be thus. / Thy obstinacy wyll exclude the[e] fro the glorius perpetuite,” 26 the final line a dire warning against the one unforgiveable sin. All else is well. The medieval Judas is a kind of limit case for salvation, in that he holds theological value because he — as someone who is identified primarily as a sinner, doubly so in the Oedipal legends — helps explicate the extent of the sweeping embrace of divine grace. This is the worth of being anything but beautiful; Judas’s sinfulness is a form of theological “cuteness” for medieval exegetes and lay believers alike.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 On the other hand, even with all this talk of the possibility of recuperating him, Judas never attains salvation. 27 He slips into despair, hangs himself, and is consequently damned. In Arnoul Gréban’s Le mystère de la passion, he is carried off to hell by Despair herself to be swallowed whole by Lucifer, then gnawed by a horde of swamp serpents for all eternity. 28 It strikes me as curiously apposite that out of all the sins in the world, despair is the one that brings him to this point. Harris and Ngai are keenly attuned to the power relations constructed between the object of cuteness and its beholder, with Harris describing the cuteness of childlike things as “exaggerating the vast discrepancies of power between the sturdy adult and the enfeebled and susceptible child” 29 and Ngai interpreting cuteness as a concept to be “explicitly about the appeal of powerlessness as opposed to power.” 30 Despair, at heart, is a mistrust and denial of the salvific power of God. For Judas to resort to despair is to refuse the acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and to shy away from the long arm of the divine. It’s worth asking the question again: when is the grace of God incapable of reaching someone? Never– unless, that is, the man willingly withdraws himself from God’s grasp. By rejecting the offer of salvation, Judas stages a rebellion in miniature against divine might, effectively asserting that he is not subject to this hierarchy of power.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 Although I don’t wish to put too fine a point on this, it’s also worth noting the parallels between the economic registers of Judas’s story and the economic dimensions of cuteness. As previously mentioned, both Harris and Ngai see consumerism as part and parcel of the development of cuteness as an idea. Drawing from the injunction in 1 Corinthians 6:20 — “empti enim estis pretio magno glorificate et portate Deum in corpore vestro” — and running through Anselm of Canterbury’s portrayal in Cur Deus Homo of “human sin as a debt incurred to God, but one so large that only God himself can satisfy it,” 31 mercantile metaphors for salvation were de rigueur in the Middle Ages. The buying of man through Christ’s blood turns mankind into a commodity within the economy of salvation, and Judas’s refusal to participate in the process of salvation means leaving the sphere of God’s economic power as well, venturing beyond the mere idiosyncrasy of cuteness towards full-on transgression.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 Or, at least, it would if such a thing were feasible at all. As it stands, Judas exists entirely within the Christian context of medieval cultural output, and his gestures prove to be ultimately ineffectual. If his selling of Christ is taken to be an attempt to reverse the dynamics of economic power that exist between man and God, the transaction is coded as unsuccessful on several different levels. The most fundamental reason for the failure is that the entire sequence of the Passion and Crucifixion is most often understood to be part of the divine plan, and thus the betrayal is nothing that God did not anticipate or engineer, which prevents it from becoming a successful act of defiance. Even when Judas seems to make choices of his own — as Irina Dumitrescu argues is the case in the Middle English ballad “Judas” 32 — he is beset by external obstacles and internal weaknesses, unwillingly forced to sell Christ as a consequence of his own sexual susceptibility to a quick-fingered lover. This is hardly the picture of a master insurgent. In addition, though he may be known for performing what is arguably the most famous act of sale in history, Judas comes across as something of a dupe in medieval interpretations of the transaction; Dumitrescu points out, “not only is Judas a greed-driven businessman, but a bad one at that, selling something of infinite value for a few worthless pennies.” 33

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 In the end, Judas remains thoroughly subject to the rules of the game set out by divine authority. Cuteness may valorize a certain deviation from perfection, but it also requires that the object be placed in a position of powerlessness. The sort of deviation that carries the danger of overturning this hierarchy — established between Judas and God, and by virtue of the approval of orthodoxy, between Judas and the medieval beholder — is strictly forbidden, or rather, functionally impossible. As someone who occupies a niche consonant to cuteness in medieval theology, Judas is unable to cut himself free from the constraints of the role. If “adorable things are often most adorable in the middle of a pratfall or a blunder,” 34 admittedly the man whose whole life is one long mistake (it had been better for him if he had not been born) seems to have been crafted for the part.

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 But that life ends with Judas suspended between heaven and earth, his intestines tumbling from the broken ruin of his body. Perhaps this gruesome moment is the small amount of aesthetic revenge he is allowed to take on cuteness as a theological concept. Harris on the anti-cute of the Gremlins: “[they] are constantly being squished and disemboweled, their entrails spilling out into the open.” 35

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 Coda: The melancholy of Judas Iscariot
Nakamura Hikaru’s manga Saint Young Men (聖☆おにいさん) has just entered its tenth year of serialization, with no plans for an official English translation due to the religious climate in the US. 36 This is sad news for anyone who might enjoy seeing Peter and Andrew show up at Jesus’s door for an annual Easter prank, wearing bald caps and kasaya robes and telling him that they’ve decided to convert to Buddhism. 37 The premise of the series is that Jesus and Buddha are roommates on vacation in modern-day Japan, with a rotating cast of characters from both religions making guest appearances in their daily low-key adventures. Judas formally joins the cast in the same Easter prank chapter, as Peter and Andrew pretend that they’ve accidentally made him wait outside in the cold for hours on account of having forgotten he was there. “No… Never mind me… I’m sorry that I’m Judas…” he trails off when they open the door. “Haha… It’s actually better that I stayed out of it. If someone like me were to be around on a good day like this… Since I wasn’t even there for the surprise resurrection show… Ah, but still. When Jesus said, ‘It had been better if he (Judas) had not been born,’ it did give me that sinking feeling…” 38 After a panel of silence, the three disciples enthusiastically reveal that this morose entrance by Judas was also part of the prank. “But how much of this just now was a prank, exactly?” Jesus asks in equal parts relief and consternation.

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 Harris writes of cuteness that “pity is the primary emotion of this seductive and manipulative aesthetic that arouses our sympathies,” 39 and specifies that products intended to be cute project “an aura of motherlessness, ostracism, and melancholy … [Cuteness] aestheticizes unhappiness.” 40 Along similar lines, Ngai describes the cute object in terms of “helplessness, pitifulness, and even despondency.” SYM’s 41 Judas is introduced to the reader as a loner with a hesitant speech pattern and a peek-a-bangs haircut 42, whose dialogue primarily consists of berating himself for his former betrayal of Christ. “Of course I should eat on the floor, since I’m Judas,” 43 “Strike me down … I deserve to be cut in half,” 44 and, while expertly tying a hangman’s noose, “I’m quite used to getting rid of myself…” 45 His despair is played for both laughs and sympathy, intended to draw from the reader a reaction akin to the desperate compassion that Jesus displays in response to Judas’s offer to eat on the floor: “Sit at my right hand, Judas!!” 46 Instead of being the unforgiveable cardinal sin, despair has now become a toothless source of cuteness. 47

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 In the secular world order of contemporary manga, even Judas’s attempt to venture outside of cuteness is figured in radically different terms. “Let us be grateful for the miracle of another day of life spent with friends!” 48 he shouts at Peter and Andrew by way of greeting when they show up to work at the pearly gates, alarming them with his newfound enthusiasm. He has embarked on a path of affirmation and positivity, adorning his desk with hand-painted postcards emblazoned with motivational quotes, attending lectures by lifestyle coaches. “How does it look to you? Is this dangerously verging on religious conversion?” 49 Peter asks Andrew, staring at Judas’s shelf full of self-help books. He pins his bangs out of his face and goes shopping for new clothes, trying to define himself as a faithful and repentant follower of Christ with a completely transformed attitude.

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 By the end of the chapter, Judas is paying Jesus a visit to share his bright outlook on life. “With this new mindset… I won’t let ‘Judas’ remain the byword for betrayal…” he vows. “And until 13 becomes a lucky number… until yellow becomes a popular color… until this Judas cross [in the shape of a noose] adorns churches all across the world, I will keep visiting the earthly realm!” 50 But just as he is in the middle of pledging on his knees that he will never make the same mistake again, Jesus cuts him off in a burst of eager agape: “You sold me for 30 pieces of silver, so sell me again for thirty coins… or thirty pieces of gold… no, even gift certificates or smart cards are fine… No matter how many times you betray me, I’ll forgive you…! I’m fine with you selling me over and over again!” 51 With the wind abruptly taken out of his sails at the implication that Jesus neither wishes for him to change nor believes that he can, Judas lets his hair fall back into his face even heavier than before, muttering, “Once a traitor…”

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 Despair may have a different function within the SYM scheme of things, but the discrepancy in power that pigeonholed Judas into the niche of the theologically “cute” and bound him there is still as active and dominant as ever. Cuteness, even when secularized into its aesthetic dimensions, is a category that retains the same interplay of appreciation and subjugation that was present in configuring Judas as a limit case for salvation. There may be something quite insidious lurking beneath the surface of Jesus’s unconditional acceptance at the prospect of being exchanged for a sheaf of gift cards. Once again, divinity takes control of the narrative of the sale; the defiance of betrayal is rendered insignificant if the betrayal has been unequivocally sanctioned by the party to be betrayed. Instead, by gently returning Judas to his accustomed place as the aestheticized form of despair, Jesus turns him into the abject commodity that encourages consumption through a display of hapless dejection. Buy this Judas, may be the silent whisper. Buy this book. And I did.

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 Notes:

  1. 22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0
  2. Saint Augustine, Confessions, trans. R. S. Pine-Coffin (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1961), 239.
  3. See Władysław Tatarkiewicz, Medieval Aesthetics, ed. C. Barrett (The Hague: Mouton, 1970) and Gian Carlo Garfagnini, “Medieval Aesthetics,” in Aesthetics: The Key Thinkers, ed. Alessandro Giovannelli (New York: Continuum, 2012), 34-47.
  4. Daniel Harris, Cute, Quaint, Hungry, and Romantic: The Aesthetics of Consumerism (New York: Basic Books, 2000), xiii.
  5. Sianne Ngai, Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), 1.
  6. Ngai, Our Aesthetic Categories, 15.
  7. Ngai, Our Aesthetic Categories, 53.
  8. Harris, Cute, Quaint, Hungry, and Romantic, 3.
  9. Harris, Cute, Quaint, Hungry, and Romantic, 19.
  10. Ngai, Our Aesthetic Categories, 22.
  11. C. Stephen Jaeger, “Richard of St. Victor and the Medieval Sublime,” in Magnificence and the Sublime in Medieval Aesthetics: Art, Architecture, Literature, Music, ed. C. Stephen Jaeger (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 159 [157-178].
  12. Martino Rossi Monti, “‘Opus es magnificum’: The Image of God and the Aesthetics of Grace,” in Magnificence and the Sublime in Medieval Aesthetics, 28 [17-34].
  13. Ngai, Our Aesthetic Categories, 236.
  14. Paull Franklin Baum, “The Mediæval Legend of Judas Iscariot,” in PMLA 31.3 (1916): 571 [481-632].
  15. Baum, “The Mediæval Legend of Judas Iscariot,” 615.
  16. Lowell Edmunds, Oedipus: The Ancient Legend and Its Later Analogues (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985), 18.
  17. Baum, “The Mediæval Legend of Judas Iscariot,” 526.
  18. The issue of tone and method of treatment is a different matter, with the relentless excoriation of the South English Legendary as far a cry from the plaintive first-person narration of the Suspencio Iude as two tellings of the same tale can possibly be, but regrettably this lies beyond the scope of the present paper– as is the question of whether the Suspencio Iude is a dramatic text at all. For more on the latter question, see The Towneley Plays, eds. Martin Stevens and A. C. Cawley, vol. 2 (London: Oxford University Press, 1995); Peter Meredith, “The Towneley cycle,” in The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Theatre, ed. Richard Beadle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008); Garrett P. J. Epp, “Re-editing Towneley,” in Yearbook of English Studies 43 (2013): 87-104.
  19. Lee Patterson, Chaucer and the Subject of History (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1991), 414.
  20. For instance, one of the primary horrors of the myth of Oedipus is the accidental nature of his crimes. It is fascinating to consider what repercussions such a severing of the connection between sinner and sin might have on the exegetical role of Judas. If God in his omniscience and unassailable authority allows a thing to happen, how much responsibility does an involved individual bear for the outcome? This, too, regrettably lies beyond the scope of the present paper.
  21. Baum, “The Mediæval Legend of Judas Iscariot,” 483.
  22. See Susan Snyder, “The Left Hand of God: Despair in Medieval and Renaissance Tradition,” in Studies in the Renaissance 12 (1965): 18-59.
  23. Iacopo da Varazze, Legenda aurea, con le miniature dal codice Ambrosiano C 240 inf., ed. Giovanni Paolo Maggioni, trans. Francesco Stella, et al., vol. 1. (Firenze and Milano: Sismel / Edizioni del Galluzzo and Biblioteca Ambrosiana, 2007), 328.
  24. Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend or Lives of the Saints, trans. William Caxton, ed. F. S. Ellis (London: Temple Classics, 1900), Fordham University Internet Medieval Sourcebook, web.
  25. Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints, trans. William Granger Ryan (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 1993), 169.
  26. A textual case counter to this majority trend would be the South English Legendary, which holds an extremely punitive view of justice and lists all of Judas’s sins — thievery, murder, suicide — as rightful reasons why he deserves a death by hanging.
  27. Mankind, in Early English Drama: An Anthology, ed. John C. Coldewey (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1993), lines 821-832 [105-135].
  28. Except in the sermons of St. Vincent Ferrer.
  29. Paula Jeanne Giuliano, Arnoul Gréban’s “The Mystery of the Passion”: The third day, diss. The City University of New York, 1991 (Ann Arbor: UMI, 1991), lines 22025-22134.
  30. Harris, Cute, Quaint, Hungry, and Romantic, 11.
  31. Ngai, Our Aesthetic Categories, 58.
  32. Irina A. Dumitrescu, “Debt and Sin in the Middle English ‘Judas,’” in Anglia 131.4 (2013): 512 [509-537].
  33. Dumitrescu, “Debt and Sin in the Middle English ‘Judas,’” 513.
  34. Dumitrescu, “Debt and Sin in the Middle English ‘Judas,’” 515.
  35. Harris, Cute, Quaint, Hungry, and Romantic, 6.
  36. Harris, Cute, Quaint, Hungry, and Romantic, 20.
  37. Jason Thompson, “Jason Thompson’s House of 100 Manga, Episode XXIII: Jesus,” in Anime News Network, web.
  38. Nakamura Hikaru, Saint☆Oniisan, trans. Suh Hyun-Ah, vol. 5 (Seoul: Haksan, 2013), 101.
  39. Nakamura Hikaru, Saint☆Oniisan, 108.
  40. Harris, Cute, Quaint, Hungry, and Romantic, 4.
  41. Harris, Cute, Quaint, Hungry, and Romantic, 5.
  42. Ngai, Our Aesthetic Categories, 65.
  43. “Peek-a-Bangs,” in TV Tropes, web.
  44. Nakamura Hikaru, Saint☆Oniisan, 109.
  45. Nakamura Hikaru, Saint☆Oniisan, vol. 9, 14.
  46. Nakamura Hikaru, Saint☆Oniisan, 15.
  47. Nakamura Hikaru, Saint☆Oniisan, vol. 5, 109.
  48. The necessary caveat here is that much of the popularity of SYM has been actually driven by the cuteness inherent in the character of Jesus, portrayed as a wide-eyed blogger who is fascinated by Japanese culture and fancies himself a Johnny Depp lookalike. However, this requires exploring a vastly different parallel notion of cuteness that eliminates much of the darker valences of cuteness that Ngai and Harris point out and this paper utilizes. Although that is once again beyond the scope of the present paper, it must be noted that there can exist alternate manifestations of cuteness that do not involve the denigration of the object.
  49. Nakamura Hikaru, Saint☆Oniisan, vol. 11, 3.
  50. Nakamura Hikaru, Saint☆Oniisan, vol. 11, 5.
  51. Nakamura Hikaru, Saint☆Oniisan, vol. 11, 13.
  52. Nakamura Hikaru, Saint☆Oniisan, vol. 11, 14.
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