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Divine Mother, Blessed Mother : Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary

I don't usually post Amazon reviews, however I'm a postgraduate student working on F. Clooney's work and I have to say some of the reviews that have been posted here are shockingly misleading. This book is not an apologia for the treatment of women in Christianity.

It is Clooney's attempt, as a Catholic theologian and a scholar of Indian religious traditions, to contribute to theological discussions on God and gender by drawing attention to Hindu goddess worship, exemplified through three specific hymns. Clooney interprets the hymns along with Hindu commentators and his interpretations are learned, fair and sympathetic. He draws on a theme from his own tradition - the veneration of Mary - as an additional strategy for a Christian trying to understand something about Hindu Goddess traditions. When Clooney makes comparisons, he wishes us to be attentive to the differences as well as the apparent similarities.

The hope is that people within two different traditions can learn from one another, without necessarily losing what is essential to their identity. I'm sure this book is not perfect and that intelligent criticisms could be made about Clooney's aims and methods, but it certainly does not deserve the trashing it receives in some of the reviews posted here.

It is an intelligent, scholarly work which attempts to present some aspects of Hindu Goddess traditions to an audience of Westerners and Christians. I find it to be more accessible than his earlier works; also, the fact that translations of the six hymns are included in full three Goddess hymns, three Marian hymns , allows the reader to reflect on the primary texts and find new insights whether the reader be Hindu, Christian, or of another persuasion.

Christian thinking on the Virgin Mary is something of an undercurrent in this book, so those not already familiar with it might wish to look elsewhere. It is always a matter of celebration when Francis Clooney writes a new book. I have a number of his books and have consistently found in them a rich intellectual and spiritual feast.

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In the Harvard Classroom: Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary | America Magazine

Divine Mother Blessed Mother closely analyzes three texts devoted to three Hindu goddesses and compares them with three Christian texts devoted to Mary. Clooney's close reading brings out the best from each text and makes for fascinating reading. My strong recomendation comes from my position both as a scholar of Hinduism as well as a Hindu nun of 30 years standing. Clooney's treatment of Hindu texts is deeply respectful and enlivened by his profound knowledge of the Hindu traditions.

I highly recommend this book for Hindus and Christians who will learn about their own traditions as well as readers who are newly acquainted with each tradition. Pravrajika Vrajaprana. Cloony takes a few too many liberties with Catholicism here, but many of his observations are very good. I recommend this book if you already have some working understanding of the Vergin Mary and the theology behind her. This is a book peddled as "interfaith" blah-blah, when it is a thinly-disguised piece of bigoted political propaganda.

The author tries to pose as some Savior Xavior? Then again, isn't this the university whose President recently declared that women were mentally inferior?? The same attitude comes through loud and clear behind the thin veneer of insincere platitudes. Save your money.

As someone brought up in the Catholic tradition and as someone who has spent time in India, I found this book offensive and insincere.

Divine Mother Blessed Hindu Goddesses Virgin Mary

The position of women in Christianity and in particular Catholicism is nothing to write home about: everything from the wholesale burning of women as witches in medieval Europe and America to the notion that women do not have souls and are therefore not equal to men, have persistently emphasised the second-class position of women in Christian theo-politics. The extreme patriachal nature of Christianity is not in doubt. What I have observed in my time in India is that there are undoubted prejudices against women there too, but on a theological basis, their female deities are far more equal.

Catholics have attempted to create Madonna cults in India, just as they have successful done via Lourdes and Guadaloupe in Europe and Latin America. However, this is mostly a conversion tactic. There is no comparison between the status of goddesses in India high and of Mary in Christian tradition dubious ; therefore this book is an attempt to cynically use the relatively good theological treatment of females in India and argue that therefore women are well-treated in Christianity as well. I read Xavier Clooney's book. I spent my money assuming that author is serious about fostering intellectual inquiry for inter-faith dialogue.


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However, the whole book was disappointing to say the least. Clooney's intellectual "inquiry" seems to be more of defending the orthodox christian position, rather than a serious exposition of both from their respective positions -conceptualization of Goddess in spiritual terms in Hinduism, and comparing that to Virgin Mary in Christianity. Clooney's work seems to be a hagiography of Virgin Mary, rather than serious comparative theology.

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It sounds like a fascinating class and I would love to be a part of it. As a Catholic child, I was inundated and captivated with the Marian apparition stories, only to later become so skeptical of them.

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There was scientific proof, after all, that Juan's cape Guadalupe had been tampered with. Then someone was telling me of some recent apparitions in S. America, and she said: "the same wind that was blowing through her hair, was blowing through ours!

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There is a boundary that is being crossed in these Mary stories - between the here and hereafter? I don't know. But the words: Mother of God, just blow me away. The notion of a human woman in time giving birth to God! Father this sounds like a great way to teach. I envy your students as it is obvious that you are willing to do more than go through the motions.

My question to you is how do you manage to keep it from falling into a type of Relativism?. To not lose the originality of either the Godesses of the Hindu Religion or the sharp difference with the very historical Virgin Mary? How do you not offend sensibilities in such a diverse setting as the one you have,without omitting the Christian claim?

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I wish you well and all of your students too. Brain Games Spot the Difference. Preserving Fruit and Vegetables Made Easy.


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