Accepted Paper:

Torn between Christianity and neo-paganism: menstrual rituals in contemporary Spain and France  
Anna Fedele (CRIA, University Institute of Lisbon)

Paper short abstract:

This paper describes the ritual practices of a group of Spanish and Catalan women raised in Catholic families. Influenced by texts derived from neo-pagan authors, they see Saint Mary Magdalene as the guardian of menstrual blood and they advocate a 'sacralisation' of the menstrual cycle.

Paper long abstract:

This paper describes the ritual practices of a group of Spanish and Catalan women who consider the "sacralization" of menstrual blood to be one of the key processes in acquiring self-esteem and healing psychological wounds. Influenced by texts derived from neo-pagan authors, they perform rituals to commune with Mother Earth by offering her their menstrual blood. Raised and educated in Catholic families, these women--who consider themselves part of the worldwide Goddess movement--do not consider their beliefs and rituals to be in contrast with Christian values. They see Mary Magdalene as the guardian of menstrual blood and they advocate a "feminist reading" of Jesus' message.

Panel W031
New perspectives on 'European' Christianity