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The Valiant WomanThe Virgin Mary in Nineteenth-Century American Culture$
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Elizabeth Hayes Alvarez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627410

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627410.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CSO for personal use (for details see http://www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 November 2017

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Valiant Woman
Author(s):

Elizabeth Hayes Alvarez

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627410.003.0001

The introduction lays out the main theses of the book. Namely, despite Protestant discomfort with Catholic Marian theology, Marian imagery was vividly present in nineteenth-century America’s popular and visual culture. A wide range of novelists, ministers, artists, and ordinary Catholics and Protestants were fascinated by the Virgin Mary, and together they elevated her as a symbol of womanhood. Beyond Mary’s role within congregations, denominations, devotional and theological systems, she existed as a cultural icon with distinctive characteristics and narrative content recognized by nineteenth-century Americans. And through these widespread, popular visual and literary representations, Marian theology had more influence on the development of American gender ideology than is generally understood. It also clarifies the authors use of terms such as American Catholicism and American Protestantism.

Keywords:   American Catholicism, American Protestantism, gender ideology, Marian theology, popular culture, Virgin Mary, visual culture

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