It’s deja vu all over again as Gala will be out guide next week on this article, which I found very stimulating! Here are a few questions to begin the dialogue.
1. What does the author mean when she uses the term “incarnational” thinking?
2. We have discussed the “schizophrenia” induced by the counterpoint of Eve and Mary. However, the Virgin Mary is also rich in contradictory messages. How did the Medieval thinkers deal with the Virgin’s dual nature? The Catholic thinkers? The Protestants?
3. How did Feminists of the 1970s interpret Mary’s dual persona? And does this change in the 1980s and later?
4. I was so excited to see Bernard of Clairvaux in this article! What ingredient does he add to the Virgin? And how does Christian theology get around it?
5. ”In Catholic imagination, women’s roles exist along a continuum suggested by Mary….and Mary Magdalene.” Discuss.
6. The positive reading of the female body had numerous fans in early Feminism from Woman House to goddess cults. What happens in the next decade to alter this?
7. Is the debate between the “essentialists” and “deconstructionists” over?
8. Consider the works by the artists discussed in this article (Hannah Wilke, Barbara Kruger, (briefly), Renee Cox, Kiki Smith, Janine Antoni, Petah Coyne, and Lisa Yuskavage). Is there a “Catholic” sensibility that unifies these artists? Whose work resonates the most with you? Does Catholicism provide the “visual language for reimagining oppressive roles and assumptions?”