crosscultural beliefs about the Virgin Mary

crosscultural beliefs about the Virgin Mary

A. Readings:

1. You will read an essay about crosscultural beliefs about the Virgin Mary and discussing Mary as a patron of warriors: (…)

(rest attachments are attached)

Amy G. Remensnyder “Warrior and Diplomat: Mary between Islam and Christianity” from Timothy Verdun et. al, eds., Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea, exhibition catalogue, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., 2014-2015. This is a large file, mostly because of the color images; the essay itself is not too long. Considering the fraught history between Islam and Christianity this is an interesting essay about the Virgin Mary as she has been perceived in different religions. •. Pdf on BB in Course Documents.

2. Blog posting on Madonna Lactans images (Virgin Mary nursing Christ), by Jane Arney.

3. You will read the following short pieces on British/African artist Chris Ofili’s painting of the Holy Virgin Mary,1996; take a good look at the image posted in the folder.

  • KhanAcademy article; newspaper articles and editorials on Chris Ofili’s The Holy Virgin Mary and NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s attempted censorship/censureship of the Sensation exhibition.

Discussion Questions

1. What were some functions and significances of images of the Virgin Mary? Can one draw connections between Amy G. Remensnyder’s article about some examples of functions and depictions of the Virgin Mary, and Ofili’s reinterpretation of the theme?

2. How did Chris Ofili appropriate Virgin Mary imagery? How did he make it relevant to himself and his cultural heritage?

Here are some other issues to discuss; I am sure that you will come up with more on your own:

Do you think that Chris Ofili was genuine in his compilation of traditional Virgin Mary imagery, African materials, and collage elements in this work, or was he trying to be sensationalistic? What are your thoughts on artistic censorship? Is there a time and place when artistic expression ought to be censored?

What other topics and ideas did you find interesting in this context?


Mention of at least two specific points from the article or reading. (1 point)

Relation of new information to old information learned in the course to date. (1 point)

Relation of information in article or reading to personal experience if relevent. (1 point)

Discussion at a critical level, not just recitation of facts from the article. (3 points)

Length of posting approximately 200-350 words. (1 point)

Note: Discussion at a critical level means discussing things such what points you found interesting about the reading or film, and presenting (politely) your opinions about some of the points mentioned, and why you hold those opinions

Do you see something wrong with a point mentioned/inconsistencies within the 
article or reading itself, and so forth? Does it present and opinion counter to other studies you have read? In other words, critiquing an article means analyzing the good and occasionally the weaker aspects of the article and justifying your analysis.

Move beyond simple summary of the assigned readings or films.

Open chat