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|Title:||"One Woman with Many Faces": Imaginings of Mary Magdalen in Medieval and Contemporary Texts|
|Authors:||Harmer, Elizabeth C.|
|Advisor:||Grisé, Annette C.|
|Keywords:||English;English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>In recent years, an interest in religious (especially Christian) discourses has resurged, as evidenced by the popularity of the conservative Catholic film, <em>The Passion of the Christ</em> (2004) and Dan Brown's Church-conspiracy thriller <em>The Da Vinci Code</em> (2003). My thesis explores the character of Mary Magdalen within such texts, comparing her<br />contemporary imaginings with the imaginings of late medieval English texts. This<br />comparison emphasizes the similarities between each archive--both eras are intent upon adding to the content and meaning of Mary's story-and their differences in purpose-medieval texts are largely devotional, contemporary ones much more iconoclastic. I examine such disparate texts as <em>The Golden Legend</em>, a late-medieval play called <em>Mary</em><em> Magdalen</em>, films <em>Jesus Christ Superstar</em> (1973), <em>The Last Temptation of Christ</em> (1988), <em>Jesus</em> (1999) and <em>The Passion of the Christ</em>, thriller <em>The Da Vinci Code</em> and Nino Ricci's novelization Testament (2003). Each text depicts Mary with a different role, and she often plays more. than one role in the same text. The narrative impulse is so similar in both archives that I believe it is not possible to read the medieval archive as a less progressive version of the contemporary one-neither is immune to misogyny, neither is entirely misogynist. The constant reinterpretation of Mary Magdalen engenders a hybridity in her characterization; using Bakhtin's concept dialogism and some mythographic theory, I argue that the paradoxality and plurality of these reimaginings allow her to become a central part of the unfixing ofmeaning in the gospels. Using feminist theology I argue that Mary's marginality makes her an ideal site for such imaginings.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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