Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Goddesses and the Divine FeminineA Western Religious History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Rosemary Ruether

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520231467

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520231467.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

Feminine Symbols in Medieval Religious Literature

Feminine Symbols in Medieval Religious Literature

(p.159) Six Feminine Symbols in Medieval Religious Literature
Goddesses and the Divine Feminine

Rosemary Radford Ruether

University of California Press

Mary is the pure virgin at her conception and at the birth of Jesus as well as the exalted queen of heaven. But she is also the sorrowful mother. She understands and is with us in our suffering. More fundamentally, she shared fully in her son' suffering, having foreknowledge of his crucifixion from his birth. Feminine symbolism is central to the work of several key medieval mystical writers, including Hildegard of Bingen. This chapter explores the development of Mariology through the medieval world. It looks at five medieval women mystics who laid hold of these female symbols—Wisdom, Mother Church, and bridal soul—to affirm their own spiritual journeys as women empowered to speak, write, teach, and guide other women. It also discusses feminine symbols in Cistercian and beguine love mysticism, as well as the views of fourteenth-century recluse Julian of Norwich.

Keywords:   Mary, Mariology, female symbols, mysticism, Julian of Norwich, Hildegard of Bingen, women mystics, Wisdom, Mother Church, bridal soul

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.