The goddess and the virgin: materiality in western Europe

Whitehead, Amy (2009). The goddess and the virgin: materiality in western Europe. Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies, 10(2) pp. 163–183.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v10i2.163

Abstract

Materiality has had the tendency to cause disruptions in Western discourses and for the most part has been relegated to being representational instead of sensual, embodied or tangible. Relationally situated around two forms of the Divine Feminine, this article forms part of a greater work in progress and discusses two ethnographic accounts that highlight the role materiality plays in contemporary Western Europe. An object based discourse is used to examine the economy, performances, aesthetics and possible subjectivity of religious objects and offerings, and provides a basis upon which to explore ideas and possibilities that occur when objects and their agents are taken seriously. Through examining the relational status of objects among us in the West, this article examines the possibility of allowing not only for ontologies, but for clearing up the relegating binary opposites that are symptomatic of modernist thought.

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