Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorWickstrom, John B., 1941-
dc.contributor.authorWest, Emily Blanchard
dc.date.accessioned2009-08-25T18:46:02Z
dc.date.available2009-08-25T18:46:02Z
dc.date.issued1991
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10920/9893
dc.description71 p.
dc.description.abstractWe have now seen how a minor biblical figure, that of Mary Magdalene, has been vastly reinterpreted by no less than four major religious traditions, all associated with the Western Church. There is the popular Mary Magdalene, the voluptuous penitent, a contribution from the Church Fathers, who used her as a symbol of the beauty of repentance and conversion. Such an alluring image easily overshadows the New Testament evidence for the 'historical' Mary Magdalene. In the biblical figure upon which the popular tradition rests, we find little evidence for the Magdalene's supposed youth, beauty, or past sinfulness. The New Testament portrait of Magdalene was probably meant to be one of an older woman of independent means who experienced a religious conversion after being healed by Jesus. Her place in the Bible is really only significant in John, but she was important enough to be mentioned in all the gospels. As a satellite to the canonical Magdalene, there is the Magdalene who occasionally appears in the Apocrypha, but generally as a minor character brought in to fill a position, not as a central figure. Finally, there is the Magdalene of Gnosticism. The Gnostics seemed to have found that in the Magdalene of the Gospel of John they had found a representative of their faith, an allegory for their own struggle with the rest of Christianity, and their search to achieve gnosis. In addition to this, the Gnostics may have allowed women a larger place in their movement, and relieved them from some of the stigma of original sin. The Gnostics had more of a feminine presence in the theology, and in their dialogues they make use of many forms of sexual imagery. All the above Gnostic traits combined to make the Magdalene described in the Gnostic gospels a very rich and intriguing character. Doubtless, if all of the Marys, along with their biblical predecessor, were to somehow become incarnate and be introduced to one another, it is unlikely that they would even be able to recognize themselves. Each group and system has created their own version of the woman, and used her to represent certain aspects of their faith or view of the world.en_US
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherKalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo Collegeen_US
dc.relation.ispartofKalamazoo College History Senior Individualized Projects Collection
dc.relation.ispartofseriesSenior Individualized Projects. History.
dc.rightsU.S. copyright laws protect this material. Commercial use or distribution of this material is not permitted without prior written permission of the copyright holder.
dc.titlePossessed of Seven Devils: Images of the Magdalene in the New Testament, The Apocrypha, and Gnosticismen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Classics Senior Individualized Projects [75]
    This collection includes Senior Individualized Projects (SIP's) completed in the Classics Department. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff.
  • History Senior Individualized Projects [642]
    This collection includes Senior Individualized Projects (SIP's) completed in the History Department. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff.
  • Religion Senior Individualized Projects [161]
    This collection includes Senior Individualized Projects (SIP's) completed in the Religion Department. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff.

Show simple item record