Battered women venerating a vicious Virgin: Reconsidering marianismo at a Bolivian pilgrimage shrine
SourceCulture and Religion, 12, 3, (2011), pp. 303-316
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
FSW_Institute for Gender Studies (IGS)
Culture and Religion
SubjectDynamics of gender
Scholarly literature on domestic violence in Latin America often relates it to machismo and marianismo. Within this gender paradigm, women are understood to embrace the values of the Virgin Mary as a passive submissive role model. However, these studies omit facts relating to the actual role of the Virgin in daily practices. This article investigates whether women indeed view Mary as encouraging them to passively accept gender-related suffering by relating Bolivian women's experiences of domestic violence to their daily interpretations of the Virgin of Urkupiña in Quillacollo, Bolivia. We have found that the influences of religious syncretism have been largely ignored. In daily religious experiences of battered women the Virgin of Urkupiña's association with Pachamama is of great importance. We argue that women do not accept their situation in a marianistic way. Rather, rage is a central concept in their religious experiences. As their economical, social and physical means are limited, women draw on spiritual powers, among which is the Virgin of Urkupiña. The Virgin of Urkupiña is not only venerated for her capacity to endure suffering, but also as a powerful goddess of vengeance.
This item appears in the following Collection(s)
- Non RU Publications 
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.