(Essay) Mary as Christian Goddess by Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.

” … the people offered bread in her name; as they had always done in the name of various Great Goddesses. According to Ashe, the Christian church of the fifth century integrated into itself the flourishing Mariology, thus taking the sting out of a rival religion …

The Great Mother as She survived in the Christian era, as Mary, has been an ambivalent image: is She sovereign or is She servant? … if pushed to the point, perhaps the Fathers of the Church would admit that keeping Mary in service to them, has been like trying to hold a bubble of air in the bottom of a fish tank … its tendency is always to rise to the open air where it belongs, and so is her tendency.”

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This is an edited version of a radio program by the author in 1994, on 2BLU 89.1 FM, Blue Mountains, Australia, in the context of a series called “Remembering the Great Mother”.

Vierge Ouvrante pl 176 Neumann Vierge Ouvrante (closed). plate 176, The Great Mother, Erich Neumann.

It could be said, and has been said, that Goddess has survived through the Christianization of many global cultures, as Mary. Geoffrey Ashe in his book The Virgin argues that the world’s nostalgia for a Mother Goddess created a place in theology for Mary, the mother of Jesus. He cites evidence that Mariology was a religion in its own right … the people offered bread in her name; as they had always done in the name of various Great Goddesses. According to Ashe, the Christian church of the fifth century integrated into itself the flourishing Mariology, thus taking the sting out of a rival religion and co-incidentally building…

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Stuart McHardy

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