Practical Feminist Mariology within the Global Village: Engaging the Liberative Potential of Marian Devotion in India
Weekly seminar of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (CSRP) presented by Emilie Krenn-Grosvenor (University of St Andrews).
This paper explores the Mariology of Mother Teresa, the Missionaries of Charity, and Indian lay Catholic women in dialogue with North American feminist Marian theology.
Understanding India as a microcosm of the religious pluralism of our global village, Emilie Krenn-Grosvenor endeavors to formulate a Mariology that acknowledges the unity in diversity of Catholic popular devotion. She will define discipleship and justice as a criteria of authenticity for Catholic popular religiosity. The goal is to articulate a Mariology that may be applied practically to Catholic belief internationally, allowing us to broaden our understanding of the Reign of God to include other faith traditions, whilst allowing for unique cultural expressions of Marian devotion that do justice to the embodied spirituality of women in the two-thirds world.
Emilie explores how this deconstruction of Christian thought in feminist theology has been liberative in recognising the female body as imago dei, whilst being dismissive of the popular piety in which most of the world’s poor Catholic women express their relationship with the divine. She argues that only by critically engaging with popular Marian devotion can we encounter the needs of Catholic women internationally and women more generally.
Emilie also explores the Marian devotion of Mother Teresa as it works to liberate women, whilst recognising the failures of certain forms of popular Marian devotion that lead to further injustice. She intends to further this engagement with popular Marian devotion in India by travelling to Kolkata in order to visit with the Missionaries of Charity, see their work first hand, and attempt to understand how their devotion to Mary contributes to their discipleship.
Finally, Emilie will also explore devotion to Mary and the call to discipleship amongst women in a New Delhi parish.
Location: St Mary’s College Hall