The following is a book review of Katherine L. Jansen’s renown scholarly contribution to medieval studies that focuses on how so many legends developed during the Medieval period about Mary Magdalen to the point that she became second only to Mary (the mother of Jesus) in veneration. She doesn’t just tell us how these stories developed, but what they say about medieval notions of godliness/sanctity/piety. She shows how the supply and demand principle can also be applied to preaching during the medieval period (and probably to preaching in every age). That is, she shows how Mary Magdalen was shaped into all sorts of colorful legendary images to fit the needs of the day as perceived by the preachers of the day. The friars couldn’t help but let their imaginations run wild with the Magdalen stories in order to use her as the “model” alternative to whatever they perceived as the corruption of society. The legends developed because they were practical for preaching.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Review: The Making of Mary Magdalen
From the Blog - Theophilogue comes this review of "The Making of Mary Magdalen in Medieval Legends" by Katherine L. Jansen: