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

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Overview

"An exciting and well-written work based on outstanding research. Katherine Jansen neatly lays out how the late medieval Magdalen was 'created,' partly by errors and misunderstandings, partly as conscious creation for both spiritual and political needs. There are moments in this book that are as much fun as a good mystery story."—Penelope D. Johnson, New York University

"Katherine Jansen's major study emerges as a real masterpiece. With subtlety and clarity she untangles the thread of multiple images of the saint, sometimes contradictory or paradoxical. She has established an exemplary historical study of undeniable solidity and great suggestive force."—Nicole Beriou, University Lumire Lyon 2 (France)

"A wonderful book: exhaustively researched, masterfully crafted, deftly written, strongly persuasive, and full of keen-sighted aperus."—Robert E. Lerner, Northwestern University

"Spirituality, iconography, saints, cults, religious women, and Mary Magdalen herself, all marginal to historical discourse until recently, are skillfully woven together in this book of central importance for understanding later medieval religion and society."—Lester K. Little, American Academy in Rome

"Thoroughly grounded in the intricacies and history of medieval Magdalen legends, Jansen's superb research of previously unexplored sources highlights new evidence that medieval preachers were convinced that Mary Magdalen indeed preached. This fascinating book casts new light on how Mary Magdalen was represented in sermons, art, and the minds of late medieval Christians. Captivating and essential reading for scholars of medieval religion and history, this clearly written book will appeal to all those interested in Mary Magdalen."—Beverly Kienzle, Harvard Divinity School

"This original and beautifully written book traces change in the image of and devotion to Mary Magdalen from the High Middle Ages to the cusp of modernity. This is a book for historians and history buffs, feminists and all who are interested in Christian popular devotion."—E. Ann Matter, University of Pennsylvania

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Editorial Reviews

Renaissance Quarterly
Jansen shows that the issue of gender was close to the surface in every phase of the Magdalen cult, bound up with the continuing debate over women as preachers and with questions of authority. On the whole she employs gender analysis convincingly to clarify some puzzling texts.
— Donald Weinstein
American Historical Review
[An] elegant and learned book. . . . it goes beyond it predecessors in several ways. . .. Jansen has produced a disciplined, tightly focused historical monograph. . .. The final result is theologically sophisticated and sociologically interesting.
— Augustine Thompson
Journal of Ecclesiastical History
An ambitious and important book. . . . Having read it one is guaranteed to see medieval representations of the Magdalen with new eyes.
— Jussi Hanska
Commonwealth
Jansen has a genuine gift for relating the story of the Magdalen to the larger religious and social history of the period. It is highly readable, learned, full of interesting material gleaned from primary archival research, and amply illustrated.
— Lawrence S. Cunningham
Sixteenth Century Journal

Jansen's careful scholarship, detailed footnotes, and useful bibliography make the book a 'must have' for anyone interested in Magdalenian studies. The 'Royal Response' chapter alone makes the book a 'must have' for anyone interested in the intersection of politics, religion, and the multifaceted relations arising from their heady mix.
— Whitney Leeson

Journal of Religious History
This is an important book that deserves to be widely known.
— Constant J. Mews
Theological Studies
Jansen's book is both a superb study of the character of Mary Magdalen as interpreted by later medievals as well as a paradigmatic methodological study for approaching the intriguing question of the reception of the medieval sermon. . . . [It will be] a standard for both women's studies and the study of sermon literature. . . .The book should enjoy wide readership, not only by those interested in the Magdalen, but also by students and professionals alike who might look to this study for scholarly guidance—such its intellectual scope and methodological competence.
— Joan Mueller
The Historian
Jansen offers us a well-written book that brilliantly explores one of the most important saintly cults of the medieval era.
— Bernard Schlager
Sixteenth-Century Journal
Jansen's careful scholarship, detailed footnotes, and useful bibliography make the book a 'must have' for anyone interested in Magdalenian studies. The 'Royal Response' chapter alone makes the book a 'must have' for anyone interested in the intersection of politics, religion, and the multifaceted relations arising from their heady mix.
— Whitney Leeson
Theological Studies - Joan Mueller
Jansen's book is both a superb study of the character of Mary Magdalen as interpreted by later medievals as well as a paradigmatic methodological study for approaching the intriguing question of the reception of the medieval sermon. . . . [It will be] a standard for both women's studies and the study of sermon literature. . . .The book should enjoy wide readership, not only by those interested in the Magdalen, but also by students and professionals alike who might look to this study for scholarly guidance—such its intellectual scope and methodological competence.
Renaissance Quarterly - Donald Weinstein
Jansen shows that the issue of gender was close to the surface in every phase of the Magdalen cult, bound up with the continuing debate over women as preachers and with questions of authority. On the whole she employs gender analysis convincingly to clarify some puzzling texts.
American Historical Review - Augustine Thompson
[An] elegant and learned book. . . . it goes beyond it predecessors in several ways. . .. Jansen has produced a disciplined, tightly focused historical monograph. . .. The final result is theologically sophisticated and sociologically interesting.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History - Jussi Hanska
An ambitious and important book. . . . Having read it one is guaranteed to see medieval representations of the Magdalen with new eyes.
Commonwealth - Lawrence S. Cunningham
Jansen has a genuine gift for relating the story of the Magdalen to the larger religious and social history of the period. It is highly readable, learned, full of interesting material gleaned from primary archival research, and amply illustrated.
Sixteenth Century Journal - Whitney Leeson
Jansen's careful scholarship, detailed footnotes, and useful bibliography make the book a 'must have' for anyone interested in Magdalenian studies. The 'Royal Response' chapter alone makes the book a 'must have' for anyone interested in the intersection of politics, religion, and the multifaceted relations arising from their heady mix.
The Historian - Linda E. Mitchell
A tremendous, ambitious, and worthy work of erudition and scholarship.
Journal of Religious History - Constant J. Mews
This is an important book that deserves to be widely known.
The Historian - Bernard Schlager
Jansen offers us a well-written book that brilliantly explores one of the most important saintly cults of the medieval era.
From the Publisher
Winner of the John Gilmary Shea Prize, American Catholic Historical Association

"Jansen's book is both a superb study of the character of Mary Magdalen as interpreted by later medievals as well as a paradigmatic methodological study for approaching the intriguing question of the reception of the medieval sermon. . . . [It will be] a standard for both women's studies and the study of sermon literature. . . .The book should enjoy wide readership, not only by those interested in the Magdalen, but also by students and professionals alike who might look to this study for scholarly guidance—such its intellectual scope and methodological competence."—Joan Mueller, Theological Studies

"Jansen shows that the issue of gender was close to the surface in every phase of the Magdalen cult, bound up with the continuing debate over women as preachers and with questions of authority. On the whole she employs gender analysis convincingly to clarify some puzzling texts."—Donald Weinstein, Renaissance Quarterly

"[An] elegant and learned book. . . . it goes beyond it predecessors in several ways. . .. Jansen has produced a disciplined, tightly focused historical monograph. . .. The final result is theologically sophisticated and sociologically interesting."—Augustine Thompson, American Historical Review

"An ambitious and important book. . . . Having read it one is guaranteed to see medieval representations of the Magdalen with new eyes."—Jussi Hanska, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

"Jansen has a genuine gift for relating the story of the Magdalen to the larger religious and social history of the period. It is highly readable, learned, full of interesting material gleaned from primary archival research, and amply illustrated."—Lawrence S. Cunningham, Commonwealth

"Jansen's careful scholarship, detailed footnotes, and useful bibliography make the book a 'must have' for anyone interested in Magdalenian studies. The 'Royal Response' chapter alone makes the book a 'must have' for anyone interested in the intersection of politics, religion, and the multifaceted relations arising from their heady mix."—Whitney Leeson, Sixteenth Century Journal

"A tremendous, ambitious, and worthy work of erudition and scholarship."—Linda E. Mitchell, The Historian

"This is an important book that deserves to be widely known."—Constant J. Mews, Journal of Religious History

"Jansen offers us a well-written book that brilliantly explores one of the most important saintly cults of the medieval era."—Bernard Schlager, The Historian

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691089874
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/2/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 1,035,709
  • 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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