Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Timothy Renick - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Louis Ruprecht

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathryn McClymond


In Pure Lust, Mary Daly claims that the Virgin Mary is an “image of total subservience, the dethroned and sapped Goddess who was converted into a vessel.” Daly perceives Mary primarily through Christian scripture and other orthodox texts, ignoring her role as part of a religion lived and experienced outside of Church doctrine and dogma. This thesis explores how Mary is perceived and utilized by the laity, as opposed to the theological Mary, by specifically looking at how the Virgin Mary is imagined and experienced at the Our Lady of Ephesus Shrine in Western Turkey. Utilizing Robert Orsi’s lived religion approach and ethnographic research, this examination of the Virgin Mary will test Daly’s theologically based theory.

Included in

Religion Commons