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Accepted Paper:

From Virgin Mary as Patroness of Hungary to the Goddess of Hungarians  
István Povedák (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design)

Paper long abstract:

In Hungarian society the cult of Virgin Mary has gained a prominent role. The veneration of Virgin Mary commenced with the founding of the Hungarian state (11th century) and this cult was built on an assumed ancient Goddess figure. The Baroque period in the 18th century emphasized the Patroness of Hungary (Patrona Hungariae) character of Virgin Mary which is still present in public thinking today.

The veneration of Virgin Mary radically changed in the past two decades. Besides the traditional forms, the vernacular religious cult of Mary incorporated several pagan, esoteric and nationalist attributes and most significant of all, the Goddess character. This can be well observed at the emerging new pilgrimage sites and in the symbolism and the visual representation of the Blessed Virgin after the political changes of the 1990s.

In my presentation I investigate the relation and functional similarities/differences of the cult of these "two Maries".

Panel W034
Crisis in church? Religious authority and religious experience
  Session 1