Mary as media icon: the Madonna in twentieth-century American Catholic devotional cultures Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Davis, Maryellen
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Religious Studies
  • “Mary as Media Icon: The Madonna in Twentieth-Century American Catholic Devotional Cultures” investigates the proliferation of Marian representations within the media of two U.S. Catholic devotional organizations, the Militia Immaculata, U.S.A., and the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal, at specific cultural and historical moments, specifically from 1917 to 1970. Both groups used media, particularly their magazines, Immaculata and The Miraculous Medal, to communicate their devotional messages and to represent the Virgin Mary in ways that expressed their distinctive views. While exploring this media, I found that twentieth-century Marian devotional organizations in the United States, such as the Militia Immaculata and the Association of the Miraculous Medal, adapted images of the Madonna to their religious, political, and historical subcultures through acts of creative representation intended to transform beliefs into actions. These representations became media icons—images that both signify and participate in the religious worldviews of Marian devotees. This dissertation employs the scholarly perspectives of Catholic Studies, American Religious History, Media Studies, and Critical Theory to interrogate the role of the Madonna in twentieth-century American Catholic devotional cultures.
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  • Tweed, Thomas A.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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