julie the obscure
(11/19/03 1:31 pm)
prostitute with a heart of gold|
hi guys, another perplexing question: does anyone know or have a clue into the origins of the stereotype/image of the 'prostitute with a heart of gold'? i talked to alan dundes, but he was in a rush, and he said there's new insight to mary magdelena and the fact that she might have been a prostitute...but im a bit hazy with christian stories/folklore.
julie the obscure
(11/19/03 7:58 pm)
Re: prostitute with a heart of gold|
Can't shed insight on prostitute with heart of gold, but I can say a bit about MMagdalene. I minored in religion in college and we talked a bit about her.
In the translations of biblical texts we had to read, none described her as a prostitute. There are mentions of prostitutes, along with other lowly followers, but she isn't one of them. In LK 8:2, she's described as one who Jesus freed from evil spirits, seven demons actually. (Some biblical scholars interprest this as her having been epileptic, or something similar.) In the rest of the gospels, she's just described as a follower, one who was first to discover his resurection. In John 20:1, she's the first to discover him. (The Oxford Study Bibile. eds. M. Jack Suggs, Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, James R. Mueller. New York: Oxford U Press, 1992.)
Elaine Pagels work on gnosticism would also be a good place to look at other perspectives on MMagdalene, who shows up prominently in many of those texts.
In my classes briefly discussed how her attribution as a prostitute was a later folkloric accretion, though not fully enough for me to be able to point you to sources on that.
(11/20/03 12:41 am)
heart of gold: Rahab|
Well, I don't know if this is the origin, but an example I can think of from the Old Testament is the prostitute Rahab. Her story can be found in Joshua chapter 2 and chapter 6:16-25.
Rahab kindly put up some Hebrew spies in the land of Jericho and was rewarded with her life and that of her family. They were the only survivors in the entire city.
Hope this helps!