Chapter

Three Hindu Goddesses, Mary, and Reading Ahead

Francis X. Clooney

in Divine Mother, Blessed Mother

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780195170375
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835379 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195170377.003.0005
 Three Hindu Goddesses, Mary, and Reading Ahead

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In light of these hymns and analyses, summary claims are made regarding each of the three Hindu Goddesses, Sri, Devi, and Apirami, and what we learn regarding goddesses, gender, and human perceptions of the divine. Comparisons and contrasts are made among them, and likewise with Mary, who ever remains not a goddess yet like a goddess. The “Stabat Mater” of Julia Kristeva is re-read as a powerful and illuminating essay that nevertheless fails to do justice to the Stabat Mater and the realities involved. The chapter also reconnects back to the wider conversation of feminists, thealogians, and theologians, and yet too the still larger project of introducing other views of the divine is considered. Clooney concludes by defending the value of renewed devotion to one’s own tradition, if one cannot incorporate all that one has learned: Reaffirming one’s own tradition after coming to appreciate another tradition, while seeing through both traditions at once, is a worthwhile conclusion. We can see our earliest ideas and devotions, as if for the first time and make a choice for them because we know that others have made other choices, intelligently, passionately, in love. Mindful of Sri, Devi, and Apirami, one still venerates Mary; aware of Mary as a human woman, one still speaks to Sri, Devi, or Apirami.

Keywords: Kristeva; devotion

Chapter.  9548 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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