Date of Award
University Scholars Director
Dr. Christine Chaney
First Advisor/Committee Member
Dr. Alissa Walter
Second Advisor/Committee Member
Dr. Katherine Douglass
comparative religion, women, islam, christianity, gender roles, mary magdalene
Mary Magdalene and Aisha Bint Abi Bakr—women hailing from the early days of Christianity and Islam respectively—are household names among adherents to each of those religions, but most know surprisingly little about who the women were. Both were independent, highly influential women, but their legacies have been corrupted by associations with repentance for deviation from traditional gender roles as well as with sexual immorality. This paper examines the biography of each women and puts it in conversation with her legacy in order to demonstrate a theme of strong women being erased from religious narratives—a theme which we must reverse in order to recover true, God-given gender roles and empower today’s women in both traditions.
Heale, Olivia, "The Whore and the Holy Woman: How Christianity and Islam Slandered Their Leading Ladies" (2021). Honors Projects. 151.
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