A Rebellion of the Mother of God


MÍŠA Patrik

Year of publication 2014
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Colm Tóibín's recent novella, The Testament of Mary (2012), brings a new perspective on the familiar tale of Virgin Mary, as it is known from the New Testament. Tóibín presents the story of Jesus's crucifixion and the events that followed from Mary's perspective, and the result is radically different from the original narrative. Tóibín's Mary is a character that is disillusioned, detached from the rest of the society, and strong, yet often passive towards others. In my talk, I argue that Mary's self-imposed isolation from her community, and the indifference towards her son's followers is, in fact, a form of rebellion against the life circumstances she has been unable to change. The seeming passivity is her way of mute resistance against the teachings of her son's disciples, and against the role of the Mother of God she has been assigned. In addition, I discuss how Mary's intimate narrative enables her to partially break the stereotypes built around her in the Christian mythology which have led to her becoming a one-dimensional character, and how this shift helps her to (re)claim her voice of a mother forced to witness the death of her child.
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