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Maria Goretti: an Icon of Virginity, an Icon of Silence, An Opportunity for Change

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dc.contributor.advisor McGuire, Anne Marie Adland, Sara R. 2007-06-01T18:19:12Z 2007-06-01T18:19:12Z 2006
dc.description.abstract For the past five decades the Roman Catholic Church has portrayed St. Maria Goretti as an icon of virginity, a modern virgin martyr. The Church has used her story to extol the values of chastity and purity and has presented her to the world as a model Catholic girl. Maria Goretti died from a brutal sexual assault. Yet this crime is almost never named as such in the representations of the Saint and her life. The lack of attention paid to this brutal act of sexual violence by the Church and by her hagiographers makes Maria not only an icon of virginity, but also an icon of the Church's silence in the face of rape and sexual assault. However, two contemporary female writers have used different representations of Maria's story to address sexual violence and break the silence the Church has developed on rape and sexual assault showing that there are alternatives to traditional representation and suggesting a potential for change within the Church.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Religion
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Goretti, Maria, Saint, 1890-1902
dc.subject.lcsh Christian martyrs -- Italy -- Biography
dc.subject.lcsh Virginity -- Religious aspects -- Catholic Church
dc.subject.lcsh Sex crimes -- Religious aspects -- Catholic Church
dc.title Maria Goretti: an Icon of Virginity, an Icon of Silence, An Opportunity for Change
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Haverford users only

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