Collusion or Critique?
Reading the Exorcism of Mary Magdalene through a Postcolonial Optic
Keywords:Spirit Possession, Mary Magdalene, First Century Judea and Palestine, First Jewish Revolt, Demonic Possession, Postcolonial Hermeneutics, Gender
While a variety of sources explore the character of Mary Magdalene and her popularly conceived configurations throughout history (Maisch 1998; King 2003, 2006; Jean-Yves 2002; Mead 2005; Kiely 2010), little attention has been paid to her representation in the Gospel of Luke, specifically her scant exorcism and possession narratives. Drawing upon contemporary archaeological insights and historical and textual sources, this article reconstructs an image of Mary before exploring her presentation in the canonical and non-canonical accounts of the first two centuries CE. Working with similar methodologies pioneered by Stephen D. Moore (Moore 2004) and Virginia Burrus (Burrus 2009), in conversation with Mary L. Keller’s (Keller 2002, 2015) theoretical framework of spirit possession, this article investigates the possession and exorcism narratives of Mary Magdalene in Luke’s gospel from a postcolonial optic.
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