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The Virgin in Hades

Arentzen, Thomas LU (2014) Roundtrip to Hades
Abstract
Christian imagination engaged Hades from the very beginning; already the canonical epistle 1 Peter talks of preaching among the dead. Synesius of Cyrene’s hymns and the Odes of Solomon exemplify, in different ways, how early Christian poets use the katabasis motif. Most of the early texts describe Christ’s visit to the underworld. He descends and resurrects, and in doing so he saves the dead from death. From the fifth century, however, writers start to take a keener interest in the role of Mary. What was the mother’s function in relation to stories of a divine Son? Some Byzantine authors—like Romanos the Melodist and Andrew of Crete—go on to speculated about the Virgin Mary’s relation to the dead, and some even situates her in the... (More)
Christian imagination engaged Hades from the very beginning; already the canonical epistle 1 Peter talks of preaching among the dead. Synesius of Cyrene’s hymns and the Odes of Solomon exemplify, in different ways, how early Christian poets use the katabasis motif. Most of the early texts describe Christ’s visit to the underworld. He descends and resurrects, and in doing so he saves the dead from death. From the fifth century, however, writers start to take a keener interest in the role of Mary. What was the mother’s function in relation to stories of a divine Son? Some Byzantine authors—like Romanos the Melodist and Andrew of Crete—go on to speculated about the Virgin Mary’s relation to the dead, and some even situates her in the underworld—a motif strikingly absent from visual art. This paper delves into a selection of texts which place her in or in dialogue with the realm of the dead. What does she do there? What underworld does she encounter, and why do the texts need her to be in Hades? If we hope to comprehend Christian notions of subterranean encounters in the Byzantine world, I suggest that we need to take these Marian motifs into consideration and not focus exclusively on Christological themes. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
Mariology, Virgin Mary, Hades, Byzantine hymns
conference name
Roundtrip to Hades
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
da4cb42a-b49d-4c94-9d7a-8e8a6cfcc5e1 (old id 4590460)
date added to LUP
2014-08-27 09:32:18
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:34:19
@misc{da4cb42a-b49d-4c94-9d7a-8e8a6cfcc5e1,
  abstract     = {Christian imagination engaged Hades from the very beginning; already the canonical epistle 1 Peter talks of preaching among the dead. Synesius of Cyrene’s hymns and the Odes of Solomon exemplify, in different ways, how early Christian poets use the katabasis motif. Most of the early texts describe Christ’s visit to the underworld. He descends and resurrects, and in doing so he saves the dead from death. From the fifth century, however, writers start to take a keener interest in the role of Mary. What was the mother’s function in relation to stories of a divine Son? Some Byzantine authors—like Romanos the Melodist and Andrew of Crete—go on to speculated about the Virgin Mary’s relation to the dead, and some even situates her in the underworld—a motif strikingly absent from visual art. This paper delves into a selection of texts which place her in or in dialogue with the realm of the dead. What does she do there? What underworld does she encounter, and why do the texts need her to be in Hades? If we hope to comprehend Christian notions of subterranean encounters in the Byzantine world, I suggest that we need to take these Marian motifs into consideration and not focus exclusively on Christological themes.},
  author       = {Arentzen, Thomas},
  keyword      = {Mariology,Virgin Mary,Hades,Byzantine hymns},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {The Virgin in Hades},
  year         = {2014},
}