"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, November 9, 2020

Cold War Mary: Ideologies, Politics, and Marian Devotional Culture

I confess that I have long found the myth of Fatima among Catholics to be impossible to take seriously for reasons I have written about on here and elsewhere. It is so clearly a species of illusion in the strict Freudian sense (that is, as an infantile wish-fulfilment) that I am surprised the great man of Vienna did not feel moved to use it as Exhibit A for his Future of an IllusionAny idea that the Mother of God talks in the hectoring and quasi-narcissistic fashion she is reported to have in 1917 is as impossible to believe as is the idea that her "message" had nothing to do with "Red scares" of the time, a thesis I expect to receive some attention when a new book is published next year: Cold War Mary: Ideologies, Politics, and Marian Devotional Culture (Leuven University Press, 2021), 432pp. 

About this forthcoming collection, the publisher gives us these details: 

One hardly known but fascinating aspect of the Cold War was the use of the holy Virgin Mary as a warrior against atheist ideologies. After the Second World War, there was a remarkable rise in the West of religiously inflected rhetoric against what was characterised as "godless communism". The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church not only urged their followers to resist socialism, but along with many prominent Catholic laity and activist movements they marshaled the support of Catholics into a spiritual holy war. In this book renowned experts address a variety of grassroots and Church initiatives related to Marian politics, the hausse of Marian apparitions during the Cold War period, and the present-day revival of Marian devotional culture. By identifying and analysing the militant side of Mary in the Cold War context on a global scale for the first time, Cold War Mary will attract readers interested in religious history, history of the Cold War, and twentieth-century international history.

Contributors: Michael Agnew (McMaster University), Marina Sanahuja Beltran (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), William A. Christian, Jr. (Independent, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), Deirdre de la Cruz (University of Michigan), Agnieszka Halemba (University of Warsaw), Thomas Kselman (University of Notre Dame), Peter Jan Margry (University of Amsterdam / Meertens Institute), Katharine Massam (University of Divinity, Melbourne), David Morgan (Duke University), Konrad Siekierski (King's College London), Tine van Osselaer (University of Antwerp), Robert Ventresca (Western University Canada), Daniel Wojcik (University of Oregon) and Sandra L. Zimdars-Swartz (University of Kansas)

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