Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin by Marina Warner

By Marina Warner

This detailed research of the cult of the Virgin Mary deals a manner of brooding about the interrelations of Catholicism and ideas of excellent femininity over the longue duree. An formidable historical past of the altering symbolism of the mummy of God, on my own of All Her intercourse holds as much as the sunshine assorted emphases happening at assorted occasions, and highlights that the plain archetype of a magna mater is consistently in play with social and old stipulations and values.
Marina Warner's attention-grabbing standpoint used to be solid within the aftermath of important postwar advancements in heritage, anthropology, and feminism and the booklet encouraged fierce debates while it was once first released in 1976. on my own of All Her intercourse is usually an emotive, own assertion, bobbing up from Warner's personal upbringing as a Catholic. It alternatives up on vintage money owed equivalent to Mary MacCarthy's Memoirs of a Catholic Girlhood and Antonia White's Frost in could, in addition to the author's personal stories at a Catholic boarding institution. hugely debatable in conservative quarters, the book's arguments have been welcomed and regarded through many readers who shared Warner's studies. during this re-creation, Marina Warner has written a brand new preface which experiences the publication within the mild of the current
debate approximately secularism, religion, countries, and social identities. She takes factor together with her unique fallacious end that the trendy age may see the cult of Mary fade away and revises it within the gentle of contemporary popes' enthusiasm for the mum of God, a clean wave of visions and revelations, a brand new new release of
female saints, and the reorientation of theological techniques to the lady query.

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Extra info for Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary

Example text

I hint, however, that a distinct mechanism had come into place since Daphne’s first visit with her physician, and in regards to her self-examination. That is, in using a mirror to guide her finger’s own penetration, Daphne extended her genital integration beyond the visual. Because of this, her relationship to her vulva was no longer constituted by image alone; in fact it was now the touching that guided the looking, instead of the other way around. Irigaray’s analysis of the link between the visual and the tactile, as articulated in Elemental Passions, Virginal Thresholds 21 makes room for this very possibility.

Conventional models of the self in Western culture subscribe to Freudian theories of subjectivity which state that woman only exists starting from the 26 Luce Irigaray: Teaching lack or absence of male sexuate values (Freud, ‘Femininity’, in New Introductory Lectures in Psychoanalysis, pp. 145–69). This ‘economy of the same’, according to Irigaray, results in the existence of only one subject, the masculine subject (This Sex Which Is Not One, p. 74). , for example, The Irigaray Reader), her more recent work focuses on outlining a path for constructing a culture of two subjects.

It is as a ‘virgin’ that she can give birth to a divine child. The word ‘virgin’ here doesn’t signify the presence or absence of a physiological hymen, of course, but the existence of a spiritual interiority of her own, capable of welcoming the word of the other without altering it. Virgin and mother therefore mean: capable of a relationship with the other, in particular with the other gender, respecting the other and oneself. Virgin and mother could correspond to a female becoming, on condition that these words are understood in the spiritual and not just in the material-natural sense.

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