Black Madonnas: Feminism, Religion and Politics in Italy

Black Madonnas: Feminism, Religion and Politics in Italy

by Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum

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Black Madonnas: Feminism, Religion and Politics in Italy by Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum

Black Madonnas is a prize-winning, deeply researched, historical study demonstrating ancient goddess origins of Black Madonnas, subversive peasant customs and rituals surrounding images of Black Madonnas, and their contemporary transformative cultural and political implications.

In the 1993 edition, I considered Black Madonnas a metaphor for a memory of the time when the earth was believed to be the body of woman and all creatures were equal, a memory transmitted in vernacular traditions of earth-bonded cultures, historically expressed in cultural and political resistance, and glimpsed today in movements aiming for transformation. Since then my understanding of Black Madonnas has been deepened by geneticists finding that the origin of modern humans is Africa, that primordial migrations from Africa carried a belief in a sacred dark woman to all continents. Black Madonnas may be considered a metaphor for healing millennial divisions of gender and race in concerted world movements for justice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780595003808
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/28/2000
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.67(d)

Table of Contents

1Metaphor of black madonnas: argument and underlying assumptions3
2"folklore is the culture of the subaltern classes": theoretical premises16
3A world in motion with a woman at the center: artifacts, myths, stories, rituals of everyday life36
4Stories and politics of justice, equality, and rights to life of the poor58
5Carnevale: the laughter of the goddess--festival defying the powers that be, ritual of how people would like to live in freedom, equality, and abundance75
6"a carniliviari semmu tutti aguali," at carnival we are all equal: Viareggio, Putignano, and Acireale90
7Black madonna of Siponto: a woman humiliated black madonna and sibyls of Loreto: women prophets black madonna of the poor of Foggia105
8Multicultural dimensions of black madonnas: multicultural liberation theologies and politics120
9Multicultural liberation theology of easter in the streets141
10Heresies, sibyls, fables, Lilith, and witches: "un mondo senza padroni e senza guerre," a world without bosses and without wars153
11Black madonnas and remembering the future: contemporary cultural and political transformation of Italy171

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