The Making of the Magdalen: Preaching and Popular Devotion in the Later Middle Ages

The Making of the Magdalen: Preaching and Popular Devotion in the Later Middle Ages

by Katherine Ludwig Jansen
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691089876

ISBN-13: 9780691089874

Pub. Date: 07/02/2001

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Best known during the Middle Ages as the prostitute who became a faithful follower of Christ, Mary Magdalen was the most beloved female saint after the Virgin Mary. Why the Magdalen became so popular, what meanings she conveyed, and how her story evolved over the centuries are the focus of this compelling exploration of late medieval religious culture. Analyzing

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Overview

Best known during the Middle Ages as the prostitute who became a faithful follower of Christ, Mary Magdalen was the most beloved female saint after the Virgin Mary. Why the Magdalen became so popular, what meanings she conveyed, and how her story evolved over the centuries are the focus of this compelling exploration of late medieval religious culture. Analyzing previously unpublished sermons, Katherine Jansen uses the lens of medieval preaching to examine the mendicant friars' transformation of Mary Magdalen, a shadowy gospel figure, into an emblem of action and contemplation, a symbol of vanity and lust, a model of perfect penance, and the embodiment of hope and salvation. She draws on diverse historical sources to reveal the laity's devotion to Mary Magdalen, which departed significantly from the friars' image of the saint, signaling a major development in popular religious practice and personal piety. Finally, the author comprehensively addresses the question of the House of Anjou's alliance with the Magdalen, and illuminates the relationship between politics and sanctity in southern France and Italy.

Jansen shows how perceptions of the Magdalen merged with errors and misunderstandings to shape the social, spiritual, and political agendas of the later Middle Ages. She brings to life the rich complexity of medieval culture, which condemned female sexuality and women's preaching and yet popularized the veneration of Mary Magdalen as a former prostitute chosen by Christ to be the "apostle of the apostles," the first to witness and preach the Good News of the Resurrection.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691089874
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/02/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
408
Sales rank:
1,306,103
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.05(d)

Table of Contents

ILLUSTRATIONS Vii

Acknowledgements xi

ABBREVIATIONS XV

A Note on Transcriptions Translation, and Names xvii

Introduction 3

ONE "In Memory of Her": From History to Legend 18

PART 1: THE MENDICANT MAGDALEN

TWO The Vita Apostolica 49

THREE The Vita Activa 100

FOUR The Vita Contemplativa 116

PART II: THE WAGES OF SIN

FIVE "Vanity of Vanities, All Is Vanity" 145

SIX "There Was a Sinner in the City" 168

PART III: DO PENANCE

SEVEN The Exemplar of Perfect Penance 199

PART IV: RESPONSES

EIGHT Responses to the Scriptural Saint 247

NINE Responses to the Legendary Saint 265

TEN In the Shadow of the Virgin 286

ELEVEN The House of Anjou: A Royal Response 307

EPILOGUE "In Memory of Her": From Legend to History 333

Bibliography of Works Cited 337

Unpublished Primary Sources 337

Published Primary Sources 339

Secondary Sources 348

Index 371

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