The Virgin Mary and the formation of Victorian masculinities

Freda Harcourt

in Victorians and the Virgin Mary

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780719077531
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700709 | DOI:
The Virgin Mary and the formation of Victorian masculinities

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This chapter describes how four men of different religious views and temperaments, Charles Kingsley, Edward Bouverie Pusey, Frederick W. Faber, and John Henry Newman, could define the Virgin Mary in such a way that they could construct a masculine self-identity in opposition to, or in conjunction with, the woman they envisioned. Individually these men offer proof that, while religious differences allowed the Marian debates to occur, the debates would not have been possible without the Victorian preoccupation with defining either gender as distinct from the other. They and the other Victorians whose voices are heard in this chapter show us that a Virgin Mary who was a source of controversy reveals far more about Victorian culture than does the passive model of domesticity scholars have assumed her to be.

Keywords: masculine self-identity; religious differences; Victorian culture; Victorian Christians; Victorian preoccupation

Chapter.  17124 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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