n Ekklesiastikos Pharos - An unusual prostitute heroine : the Ethiopic version of the hagiography of St. Mary of Egypt : research article

Volume 94, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-9556



The present essay tries to explore the construction of the female body in the Ethiopic (Ge'ez) version of the hagiography of Saint Mary of Egypt. This text is unusual for Ethiopian hagiographical tradition in terms of its organization and content. A careful reading of this symbolic text reveals multiple visions of women that often contradict the image the hagiographers wished to portray. This absurdity of the text is both the crux as well as source of the amazing characterizations of women, heroic as well as ordinary. Elevated and debased at once, the text is a paradox whose allure is the truth of female holiness.

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