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

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 Analyzing previously unpublished sermons, Katherine Jansen uses the lens of medieval preaching to examine the mendicant friars' transformation of Mary Magdalen, a shadowy gospel figure, into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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691089874
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/02/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
408
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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