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The Virgin Mary across Cultures

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ISBN: 9781138092334 Year: Pages: 204 Language: English
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Subject: Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2020-02-06 11:21:02
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Abstract

This book examines women’s relationship to the Virgin Mary in two different cultural and religious contexts, and compares how these relationships have been analyzed and explained on a theological and a sociological level. The figure of the Virgin Mary is a divisive one in our modern culture. To some, she appears to be a symbol of religious oppression, while to others, she is a constant comfort and even an inspiration towards empowerment. Drawing on the author’s own ethnographic research among Catholic Costa Rican women and Orthodox Finnish women, this study relates their experiences with Mary to the folklore and popular religion materials present in each culture. The book combines not only different social and religious frameworks but also takes a critical look at ways in which feminists have (mis)interpreted the meaning of Mary for women. It therefore combines theological and ethnographic methods in order to create a feminist Marian theology that is particularly attentive to women’s lived religious practices and theological thinking. This study provides a unique ethnographically informed insight into women’s religious interactions with Mary. As such, it will be of great interest to those researching in religious studies and theology, gender studies, Latin American studies, anthropology of religion, and folklore studies.

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Virgin Mary --- Cultures --- catholic

Orthodox Christianity and Gender

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ISBN: 9781138574205 Year: Pages: 224 Language: English
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Subject: Sociology --- Gender Studies --- Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2020-02-20 11:21:03
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The Orthodox Christian tradition has all too often been sidelined in conversations around contemporary religion. Despite being distinct from Protestantism and Catholicism in both theology and practice, it remains an underused setting for academic inquiry into current lived religious practice. This collection, therefore, seeks to redress this imbalance by investigating modern manifestations of Orthodox Christianity through an explicitly gender-sensitive gaze. By addressing attitudes to gender in this context, it fills major gaps in the literature on both religion and gender. Starting with the traditional teachings and discourses around gender in the Orthodox Church, the book moves on to demonstrate the diversity of responses to those narratives that can be found among Orthodox populations in Europe and North America. Using case studies from several countries, with both large and small Orthodox populations, contributors use an interdisciplinary approach to address how gender and religion interact in contexts such as, iconography, conversion, social activism and ecumenical relations, among others. From Greece and Russia to Finland and the USA, this volume sheds new light on the myriad ways in which gender is manifested, performed, and engaged within contemporary Orthodoxy. Furthermore, it also demonstrates that employing the analytical lens of gender enables new insights into Orthodox Christianity as a lived tradition. It will, therefore, be of great interest to scholars of both Religious Studies and Gender Studies.

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