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Promiscuous Grace

Imagining Beauty and Holiness with Saint Mary of Egypt

Promiscuous Grace

Imagining Beauty and Holiness with Saint Mary of Egypt

A meditation on holiness and beauty through the study of Saint Mary of Egypt.
 
Saint Mary of Egypt has fascinated theologians, poets, and artists since the seventh century. Her story is richly evocative: encompassing sin and sanctity, concupiscence and asceticism, youth and old age. In Promiscuous Grace, Sonia Velázquez thinks with Saint Mary of Egypt about the relationship between beauty and holiness. With an archive spanning Spanish medieval poetry, Baroque paintings, seventeenth-century hagiography, and Balzac’s Le chef-d’oeuvre inconnu, Velázquez argues for the importance of the senses on the surface of religious texts on her way to revealing why the legend of Saint Mary of Egypt still matters today.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
On Translations and Spelling
In a Chapel: An Invitation to Imagine
1 Image Theory according to Saint Mary of Egypt
2 The Seductions of Hagiography
3 The Shoes of the Sinner and the Skin of the Saint
4 Neither Venus nor Venerable Old Men
5 Appearances Are Everything
Epilogue: In the Artist’s Studio
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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