Chapter

Wounded Magdalenes

Anna Fedele

in Looking for Mary Magdalene

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199898404
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980130 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199898404.003.0006

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

Wounded Magdalenes

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This chapter refers in detail to the pilgrims’ life histories and focuses on the sexual wounds they experienced. These wounds are related to sexual abuse, sexual discrimination, miscarriage, abortion and surgery on reproductive organs. The pilgrimage leaders describe Mary Magdalene as the archetype of the lover that has been condemned by the Church and needs to be restored to her true importance. The chapter argues that in this context Mary Magdalene acts as a sort of wounded healer helping the pilgrims to come to terms with traumatic experiences related to their sexual organs. The pilgrims try to recover their connection with Mother Earth through a process of grounding. Drawing on Jean Comaroff’s idea of a “body at war with itself” (1985), the chapter argues that through their pilgrimages these men and women try to deal with conflicts and wounds they feel were not addressed by existing institutions or religious traditions.

Keywords: Mary Magdalene; life histories; sexual wounds; wounded healer; reproductive organs; patriarchy; archetypes; Comaroff; Mother Earth; grounding

Chapter.  11947 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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