Emotional Women: Grief Contained and Grief Exposed at Santa Maria della Vita

Mary Magdalene has a reputation for being emotional, if not unstable. Meanwhile Mary the mother of Jesus is usually depicted as supernaturally composed, her emotion perfectly contained beneath a serene expression. She’s not human; she’s all saint. Reflecting on a set of terracotta sculptures in Bologna and a Dorothy Sayer’s play, I consider how we can move from caricature to complexity in our understanding of these two women.

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Gardener or God? An extraordinary case of mistaken identity

Gardening isn’t an activity I typically associate with Jesus. But when Mary first encountered Jesus outside the empty tomb, she supposed he was the gardener. Is this strange case of mistaken identity accidental, or is there symbolic meaning that we shouldn’t miss?

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Victim or Survivor?—Giacometti, ovarian cancer, and a glimpse of glory

When I see Giacometti’s sculptures I don’t see anxiety, I see dignity. I don’t see alienation; I see presence. I don’t see frailty; I see endurance and resolve. I don’t see victims; I see survivors. These works have been “enthrallingly handled.” They have been loved into existence.

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