Date of Award

1992

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Religious Studies

Keywords

Theology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Whether it's the Black Madonna in Christianity, the dark god Krishna in Hinduism, the Black Stone for Muslims, the Green Tara in Tibetan Buddhism, or the Holy of Holies for the Jews, the positive representations of darkness have a surprisingly hallowed place in many religious systems. What is the function of these dark figures? Much of the perennial wisdom handed down by sages throughout time is that, what we call "God," is an inexhaustible mystery. Sages have used paradoxical language to point to a divine reality that transcends most categories of thought. Both Meister Eckhart, a proponent of Christian negative theology, and Acharya Shankara, a spokesperson for Hindu Advaita Vedanta came to similar conclusions about the divine reality. They referred to this "God beyond God" as a Divine Darkness. I contend that at least some dark deities are imaginal equivalents to the linguistic concept Divine Darkness. The Hindu goddess Kali and the North American aboriginal god Raven both function paradoxically. I argue, using a Jungian hermeneutic, that by virtue of this function they are the Image equivalent to the Word. I see them as mediators of that Dark Ground known only through symbolic discourse.Dept. of Religious Studies. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1992 .K455. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 31-04, page: 1515. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1992.

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