Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 4770
  • Author(s)/Creator(s):
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  • Title: Mary Magdalen and the Mendicants: The Preaching of Penance in the Late Middle Ages
  • Source: Journal of Medieval History 21, 1 (March 1995): Pages 1 - 25.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Dominican Order Franciscan Order Mary Magdalene, Saint Mendicant Orders Monasticism Penance Prostitutes Sermons Tears
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: 13- 14
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  • Illustrations: Five figures. Four wall paintings of portraits and scenes from the life of St. Mary Magdalene. One manuscript illustration detail.
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  • Abstract: This essay examines "de sanctis" sermons written to commemorate the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalen in order to extract the social meaning of penance in the late Middle Ages. Since sermons were the 'mass media' of the day, they provide a glimpse into how the obligation of penance was presented by preachers, mostly friars, in the later medieval period. Through an analysis of what the friars preached about Mary Magdalen - the paradigmatic penitential saint - light can be thrown on how the reformulation of the sacrament of penance at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 helped to rejuvenate the cult of the Magdalen and how, in turn, the saint came to represent the sacrament of penance in the late medieval period. [Reprinted from the Journal of Medieval History 21, Jansen, "Mary Magdalen and the mendicants: The preaching of penance in the late Middle Ages," 1, 1995, with permission from Elsevier Science.]
  • Author's Affiliation:
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1995.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 03044181
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