Date: April 14, 2011
Creator: Camp, Briana & Baxter, Denise
Description: This presentation accompanies a paper discussing research on the absence of Mary Magdalene in the Santa Maria Basilica in Trastevere, Rome. Though the region of Trastevere, Rome, was known for prostitution, there is a gap in research discussing medieval Christian art and how prostitution influenced religious art within the walls of the Santa Maria Basilica. This basilica is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the only female depicted in the entirety of the church's art. By avoiding images of other women saints such as Mary Magdalene and visually emphasizing the Madonna in the church, the décor suggests an intentional device to promote the church's philosophy against the ability to save a soul after prostitution. This absence of Mary Magdalene is significant due to the shift in attitude toward the prostitute initially from an inhumane class status to the main focus in the church. This presentation discusses research on examining the social context of Rome in this era, the status of prostitute, the neighborhood of Trastevere, and the entrance of promiscuity in the Santa Maria Basilica.
Contributing Partner: UNT Honors College