Cyril of Alexandria Criticism - Essay

G. L. Prestige (essay date 1940)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Prestige, G. L. “Cyril; or, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.” In Fathers and Heretics: Six Studies in Dogmatic Faith with Prologue and Epilogue, pp. 150-79. London: S.P.C.K., 1968.

[In the following excerpt, originally published in 1940, Prestige offers historical background information on Cyril's activities as archbishop of Alexandria, and analyzes the saint's theological doctrine of the Incarnation.]

Cyril, archbishop of Alexandria, after whom this lecture is entitled, was one of those active and strong characters that excite the animosity of less successful controversialists. When his death was announced, in the year 444, one of his critics wrote a...

(The entire section is 10036 words.)

Alexander Kerrigan (essay date 1952)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Kerrigan, Alexander. Introduction to St. Cyril of Alexandria: Interpreter of the Old Testament, pp. 1-21. Rome: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1952.

[In the following excerpt, Kerrigan describes the theological climate in fifth-century Alexandria, summarizes Cyril's early life and education, and surveys his writings on the principal themes of Incarnation and Grace.]


The sixty-six years that fill the interval between the birth of St. Cyril of Alexandria in 3781 and his death in 4442 mark the period in which the ancient see of St. Mark...

(The entire section is 8141 words.)

Walter J. Burghardt (essay date 1957)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Burghardt, Walter J. “Woman” and “Sin.” In The Image of God in Man according to Cyril of Alexandria, pp. 126-59. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1957.

[In the following excerpt, Burghardt evaluates Cyril's generally pessimistic view of women and his theological understanding of sin as a disruption of humankind's divine qualities.]


In speaking of man as God's image, we … [use] the term “man” in its widest application: a human being, a member of the human race. Anyone who has read Cyril extensively will not consider impertinent the question: did Cyril actually include the female of the species...

(The entire section is 16406 words.)

Robert L. Wilkin (essay date 1971)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Wilkin, Robert L. “Worship in Spirit and in Truth: The Transformation of the Old.” In Judaism and the Early Christian Mind: A Study of Cyril of Alexandria's Exegesis and Theology, pp. 69-92. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1971.

[In the following excerpt, Wilkin discusses Cyril's early exegetical works—particularly his De adoratione et cultu in spiritu et veritate—as they explore the relationship between Christianity and Judaism, and demonstrate Cyril's sense of the former religion as a “transformation” of the latter.]

For a man burdened with the responsibility of a large and unruly patriarchate Cyril engaged in extraordinary...

(The entire section is 9768 words.)

Ezra Gebremedhin (essay date 1977)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Gebremedhin, Ezra. “Cyril Yesterday and Today.” In Life-Giving Blessing: An Inquiry into the Eucharistic Doctrine of Cyril of Alexandria, pp. 13-33. Uppsala: Uppsala University, 1977.

[In the following excerpt, Gebremedhin summarizes the main elements of Cyril's life, theology, Christology, and influence on subsequent Christian thought and church doctrine.]


In spite of Cyril's stature as a theologian of the entire Christian Church, only a relatively small segment of his works is available in the main literary languages of our day.1 A fairly detailed portrayal of his life, labours and theological...

(The entire section is 10843 words.)

Lars Koen (essay date 1991)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Koen, Lars. “Cyril of Alexandria: Interpreter of the Scriptures.” In The Saving Passion: Incarnational and Soteriological Thought in Cyril of Alexandria's “Commentary on the Gospel according to St. John,” pp. 13-37. Uppsala: Uppsala University, 1991.

[In the following excerpt, Koen presents an overview of Cyril's life and works before outlining the principal components of his analysis of Cyril's Commentary on John.]


After hearing the news about the death of Cyril, the patriarch of Alexandria, on June 27 in the year 444 a.d., Theodoret, the bishop of Cyrrhus, wrote a letter to Domnus, the bishop of Antioch...

(The entire section is 8375 words.)

Joseph M. Hallman (essay date fall 1997)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Hallman, Joseph F. “The Seed of Fire: Divine Suffering in the Christology of Cyril of Alexandria and Nestorius of Constantinople.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 5, no. 3 (fall 1997): 369-91.

[In the following essay, Hallman centers on the element of divine immutability in Cyril's Christology and in his confrontation with Nestorianism.]

For as if one took a spark and buried it amid much stubble, in order that the seed of fire preserved might lay hold on it, so in us too our Lord Jesus Christ hides life through his own flesh, and inserts it as a seed of immortality, abolishing the whole corruption that is in us.


(The entire section is 9417 words.)