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Mary Among Stereotypes and Dogmas: A Feminist Critique and Reinterpretation of the Patriarchal Cornerstone of Motherhood
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Culture and Gender studies.
2007 (English)In: Journal of the European Society of Women in Theological ResearchArticle in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

While body and sexuality are often the main focus of gender studies, motherhood is not. The purpose of this article is to analyze and reinterpret the conceptualization of motherhood in the perspective of a critical discussion between Scandinavian and Anglo-American feminist theology in relation to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as an image of the mother. Mary strongly promotes both gender stereotypes and petrified Christian dogmas. This is why a parallel reflection on gender stereotypes of motherhood and the image of the virgin mother Mary is important. The strategies used by contemporary feminist theologians tend either to leave aside gender stereotypes or religious petrified dogmas. Through a reinterpretation of the story of the annunciation a rereading is presented, which neither locks Mary up in a patriarchal view of motherhood, nor lets petrified dogmas determine the interpretation. The characteristic of motherhood of not being in control (heteronomy) is emphasized, but simultaneously the patriarchal abuse of this phenomenon is confronted. Mary should neither be reduced to the stereotype of the oppressed woman, nor to the ideal of the vulnerable female, but should be envisioned as someone who shows us the close relation between exposure, oppression, vulnerability and love

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leuven: Peeters , 2007.
Keyword [en]
Mary, virginity, annunciation, motherhood, vulnerability, love, feminist theology, gender
National Category
Religious Studies Gender Studies
Research subject
Religious Studies and Theology; Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-21307OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-21307DiVA: diva2:594981
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-01-21

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