Course Memo

The goal of this lecture/seminar course is to explore the development of Mariology from its inception to the present, and then engage in conversation with Hindu and Buddhist reflection on the divine feminine. The first few Weeks will study the trajectory of Mariology in the early centuries of the church, underscoring how Mariology mirrors and complements analogous developments in Christology, and then move on to chart the development of Medieval and Counter-reformation Mariology in the West, as well as the different trends in Byzantine and Russian thought. In the second part of the course, the course will explore Hindu speculative and devotional approaches to the worship of the goddess, as well as the role of Buddhist female deities and bodhisattvas in Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the points of contact, as well as the differences between Christian Mariology on one hand, and Hindu and Buddhist theologies of the divine feminine on the other. Students will be assessed on the basis of weekly reflections on the readings, a presentation and a final research paper of 20-25 pages whose outline will be presented to the class. The course is geared to advanced Masters and STL students, but doctoral students are also welcome to attend; previous courses in interreligious dialogue are not required. [Auditors with Faculty Permission]