Ontelly

Thoroughly Modern Mary - Mary in Politics


Rosie Goldsmith asks whether Modern Mary is a progressive or reactionary figure in society. When she attracts 10 million people a year to her shrine in Mexico and 5000 people a week - many on their knees - to Czestochowa, you've got to ask where her power lies and how it is used or abused. Do governments in Mexico and the Philippines exploit her to keep the poor quiet and happy? In Sri Lanka, for example, she has been co-opted as Our Lady of Guerilla Warfare by insurgents. In Poland she is still a potent symbol of nationalism and unity. She talks with Richard Dawkins, Ann Widdecombe, Marina Warner, Oliver McTernan, Miri Rubin and Mark Dowd about why they believe in or reject Mary and whether they see her as a political force for good or bad. She explores the political importance of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico and meets a Mexican artist who describes the Virgin's potency as a national symbol. And she examines the role of John Paul II in promoting the figure of Mary. Producer: Sarah Cuddon A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

Broadcasts

  • 2010-06-09 15:45:00 - 2010-06-09 16:00:00 on Radio 4 FM, Radio 4 LW,