God and the Goddesses: Vision, Poetry, and Belief in the Middle Ages

Capa
University of Pennsylvania Press, 14/01/2016 - 464 páginas

Contrary to popular belief, the medieval religious imagination did not restrict itself to masculine images of God but envisaged the divine in multiple forms. In fact, the God of medieval Christendom was the Father of only one Son but many daughters—including Lady Philosophy, Lady Love, Dame Nature, and Eternal Wisdom. God and the Goddesses is a study in medieval imaginative theology, examining the numerous daughters of God who appear in allegorical poems, theological fictions, and the visions of holy women. We have tended to understand these deities as mere personifications and poetic figures, but that, Barbara Newman contends, is a mistake. These goddesses are neither pagan survivals nor versions of the Great Goddess constructed in archetypal psychology, but distinctive creations of the Christian imagination. As emanations of the Divine, mediators between God and the cosmos, embodied universals, and ravishing objects of identification and desire, medieval goddesses transformed and deepened Christendom's concept of God, introducing religious possibilities beyond the ambit of scholastic theology and bringing them to vibrant imaginative life.

Building a bridge between secular and religious conceptions of allegorized female power, Newman advances such questions as whether medieval writers believed in their goddesses and, if so, in what manner. She investigates whether the personifications encountered in poetic fictions can be distinguished from those that appear in religious visions and questions how medieval writers reconcile their statements about the multiple daughters of God with orthodox devotion to the Son of God. Furthermore, she examines why forms of feminine God-talk that strike many Christians today as subversive or heretical did not threaten medieval churchmen.

Weaving together such disparate texts as the writings of Latin and vernacular poets, medieval schoolmen, liturgists, and male and female mystics and visionaries, God and the Goddesses is a direct challenge to modern theologians to reconsider the role of goddesses in the Christian tradition.

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Índice

The Thirteenth Century
151
Hadewijchs Stanzaic Poems
169
Dante Beatrice and lamor che move il sole
181
Sapientia The Goddess Incarnate
190
Poised Between Christ and Mary
194
Henry Suso and His Legacy
206
Julian of Norwich
222
The Alchemical Virgin
234

Natura I Nature and Natures God
51
Bernard Silvestriss Cosmographia
55
De planctu Naturae
66
Anticlaudianus
73
Nature or Natures God?
86
Natura II Goddess of the Normative
90
Ganymede and Helen and Natures Grammar
91
From Alan of Lille to Jean de Meun
97
Chaucers Parlement of Fowles
111
Christines Revisionist Myths
115
Nature Nurture Silence
122
The Realm of the Natural
134
Love Divine All Loves Excelling
138
The Twelfth Century
140
Maria Holy Trinity as Holy Family
245
The Trinity as a Family
247
The Marian Trinity in Art
254
The Lability of Female Roles
273
The Invention of the Holy Family
283
Goddesses and the One God
291
Imaginative Theology
294
The Gender of God and the Limits of Intolerance
304
Medieval Christianity as an Inclusive Monotheism
317
List of Abbreviations
329
Notes
331
Works Cited
409
Index
437
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Passagens conhecidas

Página 51 - It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things...
Página 132 - By bud of nobler race : this is an art Which does mend nature, change it rather, but The art itself is nature.
Página 185 - I' mi son un, che quando Amor mi spira, noto, ea quel modo ch'e...
Página 179 - Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal...
Página 279 - Israel. ^And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold,
Página 164 - Yet each man kills the thing he loves, By each let this be heard, Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a flattering word, The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword...
Página 183 - O donna, in cui la mia speranza vige, E che soffristi per la mia salute In Inferno lasciar le tue vestige; Di tante cose quante io ho vedute , Dal tuo podere e dalla tua bontate Riconosco la grazia e la virtute. Tu m...
Página 51 - And he, shall he, Man, her last work, who seemed so fair, Such splendid purpose in his eyes, Who rolled the psalm to wintry skies, Who built him fanes of fruitless prayer, Who trusted God was love indeed And love Creation's final law — Though Nature, red in tooth and claw With ravine, shrieked against his creed...
Página 327 - Quest'è colei ch'è tanto posta in croce pur da color che le dovrien dar lode, dandole biasmo a torto e mala voce. Ma ella s'è beata e ciò non ode: con l'altre prime creature lieta volve sua spera e beata si gode. Or discendiamo ornai a maggior pieta: già ogni stella cade che saliva quand'io mi mossi, e '1 troppo star si vieta...
Página 115 - For Nature hath with sovereyn diligence Yformed hire in so greet excellence, As though she wolde seyn, "Lo! I, Nature, Thus kan I forme and peynte a creature, Whan that me list; who kan me countrefete? Pigmalion noght, though he ay forge and bete, Or grave, or peynte; for I dar wel seyn, Apelles, Zanzis, sholde werche in veyn Outher to grave, or peynte, or forge, or bete, If they presumed me to countrefete.

Acerca do autor (2016)

Barbara Newman is Professor of English and Religion at Northwestern University and author of From Virile Woman to WomanChrist, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Informação bibliográfica