1 For a discussion of the difference between the virginal conception of Christ and the mythical births of the gods see Campenhausen (1964: 27, 32-3). See also Danielou (1949: 162-4).

2 Compare Balthasar's claim that "[h]owever the One who comes forth from the Father is designated, as a human being he must be a man if his mission is to represent the Origin, the Father, in the world" (Balthasar 1988-98: III, 284).

3 For a more developed discussion of the distinction between the Church as New Eve and Mary as New Eve in patristic theology see Beattie (2000).

4 For the origins of this title in the writings of Caelius Sedulius, see Warner (1985: 368 n. 1).

5 The Vulgate translates this verse as "she (ipsa) shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." It is now generally agreed that this is a mistranslation, and that the word should be ipse (which is masculine or neuter). See Graef (1985: 1-3).

6 See also Kristeva (1995) in which she explores the risks for women in transgressing the boundaries of the masculine symbolic order.

7 In secular society, Kristeva identifies certain forms of literature, particularly the avant garde of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with the transgressive potency of the semiotic, i.e. the fluctuating language of desire associated with the mother. See Grosz (1989: 55-60) and Lechte (1991).

8 It should be noted that Kristeva is more Freudian than Lacanian in her interpretation of the drives, insofar as she endows them with biological significance whereas Lacan would construct them entirely in linguistic terms.

9 There is of course a vast body of literature which explores the creative interface between psychoanalysis and religion. Jungians in particular tend to take a more benign view of religion than Freudians, but in the work of post-Freudian theorists such as Irigaray, Kristeva, and Lacan there is a less negative attitude towards the ongoing relevance of religious belief than is found in Freud.

10 Jouissance is difficult to translate, but it is a word which suggests the eroticized language of desire associated with the Freudian unconscious and with mysticism (see Irigaray 1985a: 191-202; see also Lacan 1982).

11 See Paul Ricoeur's argument that Jewish and Christian concepts of God constitute a rejection of the oedipal father gods of the pagan cults (1974). Space precludes a discussion of the fatherhood of God in this chapter, although in a more detailed discussion it would be important to ask how the language of Marian devotion might refigure the theology of fatherhood. Kristeva writes extensively on God as the symbolic ideal of the father (see Kristeva 1987a: 139-50 and Kristeva 1987b; see also the argument in D'Costa 2000: 77-97).

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