n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - The parable of the prodigal son as a eucharistic metaphor in Romanos Melodos' 49 (Oxf.)

Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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A merely superficial reading of 49 (Oxf.) of Romanos on the prodigal son reveals that, far from rendering a slavish paraphrase of this parable, he has transformed it into a metaphor. In his interpretation or exegetical presentation of this parable, Romanos has made use of a homily attributed to Pseudo-Chrysostom. In both texts the first part of the parable is either merely referred to (Romanos) or only briefly touched upon (Pseudo-Chrysostom), the main focus being on the joy experienced by the father at the return of his lost son, as well as on the description of the banquet. The final scene of the parable, involving the elder son, is in both texts also concluded in more definite and positive terms as to the elder brother's final attitude towards the conduct of his father with regard to the prodigal son. This differs conspicuously from the biblical text itself, in which we have an open-end conclusion. The aim of this paper is to analyse this transformation of the parable into a eucharistic metaphor. It will focus on both the different constituting this metaphor and the in which this transformation has been effected.

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