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A feminist theological critique of texts and traditions about Mary the mother of Jesus

Killoury, Karen Marie (1992) A feminist theological critique of texts and traditions about Mary the mother of Jesus. Masters thesis, Durham University.



I have presented a feminist theological critique of the texts and traditions about Mary the Mother of Jesus. I see this as crucial to the task of discovering the values of being female and feminine in the late twentieth century Christian church. My exposition begins with an evaluation of what the documents of Vatican II and subsequent papal pronouncements do and do not say about women, and of what is said about Mary, appreciating the ecumenical constraints on the presentation of Mariology in those documents. I have then gone on critically to examine the work of Mary Daly for her assessment of what Mariology can and cannot offer women, and I have compared and contrasted this with Rosemary Radford Ruether's attempt to recover Mary as the feminine face of the Church. I have looked back in history to the rise of the ascetic tradition in Christianity and how that changed and continues to change our perception of the female body. I have then gone on to develop this theme of bodies / boundaries concentrating on two areas which I regard as being of crucial significance. The first area is "The Age of Mary" in the nineteenth century, and the second the New Testament material, focusing in particular on the work of Jane Schaberg and its possibilities of discovering a new symbol for women. Finally, I have examined Mary from the context of liberation theology through the work of Leonardo Boff, and Ivone Gebara and Maria Clara Bingemer. The crucial question for me is whether traditions about Mary have anything to say to those who wish to emancipate themselves and younger women from the "Patriarchal feminine", or whether these traditions are positively harmful to those engaged in a conversion from sexism. If the Christian tradition is to offer resources for women, it needs to find a theo/thealogy which seeks the wholeness of their persons in relationship to the divine, and which will empower them to resist the forms of abuse they may and do experience. I have seen this project as part of my development as a professional teacher working both within Roman Catholic schools and church communities, and with women outside ecclesiastical boundaries.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1992
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 12:06

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