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The persuasive power of a mother's breast: the most desperate act of the Virgin Mary's Advocacy

Ryan, Salvador (2002) The persuasive power of a mother's breast: the most desperate act of the Virgin Mary's Advocacy. Studia Hibernica (32). pp. 59-74. ISSN 0081-6477

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Depictions of the Madonna and Child, which for centuries have adorned Catholic churches and burial grounds, tend to evoke warm responses from the majority who choose to behold what appears to be an idyllic and peaceful scene. A variation of this theme, such as the portrayal of the Virgin Mary breast-feeding her Divine Son, although less common, has also claimed great popularity among iconographers from the first centuries of Christianity. However, some popular late-medieval interpretations of the latter depiction suggest that far from being a representation of a serene mother and child at one, the iconography depicts a veritable battle of wills. The mother (Mary) suckles her Son (Christ) in a desperate effort to appease His anger, thus hoping to offset the terrible judgement He plans to impose on humanity.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Virgin Mary; madonna and Child; breast-feeding; Christianity; iconography; double interession;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > History
Item ID: 2304
Depositing User: Prof. Salvador Ryan
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2010 10:56
Journal or Publication Title: Studia Hibernica
Publisher: Studia Hibernica
Refereed: Yes

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