Thursday, July 31, 2008

"What is your original face before you were born?"

Re-Imagining MaryAugust 1st, 2008

Fisher King Press is honored to present another forthcoming Jungian Title:

Re-Imagining Mary: A Journey through Art to the Feminine Self
by Mariann Burke

Artists plumb the depths of soul which Jung calls the collective unconscious, the inheritance of our ancestors’ psychic responses to life’s drama. In this sense the artist is priest, mediating between us and God. The artist introduces us to ourselves by inviting us into the world of image. We may enter this world to contemplate briefly or at length. Some paintings invite us back over and over again and we return, never tiring of them. It is especially these that lead us to the Great Mystery, beyond image. Re-Imagining Mary: A Journey through Art to the Feminine Self is about meeting the Cosmic Mary in image and imagination, the many facets of the Mary image that mirror both outer reality and inner feminine soul. Jungian analyst Mariann Burke offers personal reflections and suggests symbolic meanings in works by several artists including: Fra Angelico, Albrecht Dürer, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Nicolas Poussin, Parmigianino, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Frederick Franck.

In western Christianity this Mary bears the titles and the qualities worshipped for thousands of years in the Female images of God and Goddess. These titles include Mary as Sorrowful One and as Primordial Mother. Recovering Mary both as light and dark Madonna plays a crucial role in humanity’s search for a divinity who reflects soul. Also discussed is Mary as the sheltering Great Mother that Piero della Francesca suggest in the Madonna del Parto and Mater Misericodia. Frederick Franck's The Original Face and the Medieval Vierge Ouvrante also suggest this motif of Mary as Protector of the mystery of our common Origin. Franck’s inspiration for his sculpture of Mary was the Buddhist koan—"What is your original face before you were born?"

From the Author: “My first meeting with Mary began with an experience of Fra Angelico’s Annunciation (Cortona). I cannot account for my unusual response to the image except to say that, at the time, over twenty years ago, I was studying Jungian psychology in Zürich, Switzerland and was then probably more disposed to respond to the imaginal world. One day as I sat in my basement apartment reflecting on a picture of his Annunciation, energy seemed to surge through me and lift me above myself. Tears brought me to deep center. It was as if I was restored to my truest self. This was an awakening for me—not an ecstasy. Far from leaving my body-self, I seemed to recover it.”

What is spirituality? What does it mean to grow spiritually and psychologically closer to the Feminine Self? How can we begin to see the "outer" image as a manifestation, a projection of the psyche? Can we be challenged by being “betwixt and between” a male dominated Church without a recognized female divinity where God is generally imagined external to the soul and a more feminine depth psychological approach to the Marian mystery and to the Feminine Self? Will we answer the call of the mystic within us? If so, how will we be changed?

Mariann Burke is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Newton, MA. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, Andover-Newton Theological School, and the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. She has done graduate work in Scripture at Union Theological Seminary and La Salle University. Her interests include the body-psyche connection, feminine spirituality, and the psychic roots of Christian symbolism. She is a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ).

Re-Imagining Mary:A Journey through Art to the Feminine Self
ISBN 13: 978-0-9810344-1-6
Psychology / Movements / Jungian
First Edition Trade Paperback
Publication Date: Spring-2009
Price: $25.00
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
180 Pages
Author: Mariann Burke
Publisher: Fisher King Press

Fisher King books are available from your local bookstore, a host of online booksellers, or directly from Fisher King Press.

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