Maternity as a Source for Religion

Marian-Bălaşa, Marin (Articol)

“After a long research on the theme of maternity (as culturally reflected and supported), I came to the conclusion that this brief paper summarizes: namely that the female sensitivity, based on the biological experience of pregnancy and child-birth/delivery, as well as on the psycho-neurological experience implied in maternity, is very rich in religious consequences. Moreover, realizing how „alien” to the maternal experience the traditional men were, and how minimal was the masculine contribution to the entire, complex cultural performance revolving around child-bearing, child-birth, nursing and child-rearing, it became obvious that women were the most effective in engendering/conceiving/masterminding/managing the spiritual culture of motherhood-related customs, superstitions, and folk religion gestures. Among many things, the contents of the apocryphal or simply literary legends, songs, and oral representations or superstitions related to the Virgin Mary, were all of a feminine (conceptualizing) origin – because most of them reflected the depressive/anxious common woman suffering from pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding effects. Briefly said: the complex culture that traditional societies (such as the Romanian one) developed around the maternal conditioning was of a feminine origin, hence the religious feelings and representations of a folk nature were own to women (who faced the maternal experience). Feminist theories would draw complex conclusions out of the study of maternity and motherhood as reflected in the Romanian biographical folk culture.”

Cuvinte cheie: femininity, feminism, folk legends, Lord’s Mother, Marian mythology, maternity, motherhood, and religious sensitivity

Revista de etnografie și folclor / Journal of Ethnography and Folklore

2013, nr. 1-2