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Cover

The Virgin Mary: A Very Short Introduction

Mary Joan Winn Leith

Publication Date - February 2022

ISBN: 9780198794912

200 pages
Paperback
6.9 x 4.4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $11.95

Description

The Virgin Mary - a Jewish mother - is central to Christianity, a revered woman in Islam, and a person of persistent fascination for centuries. Marian worship and theology has inspired countless appearances in art, as well as religious philosophy and doctrine, while the concept of the Virgin herself has been involved in controversial discussions over the Virginal body, race, anti-Semitism, and globalism.

This Very Short Introduction describes the evolution of Marian thought from early Christianity to the present day. Mary Joan Winn Leith focuses on the centuries between the rise of Christianity and the Counter-Reformation, the eras when most of the doctrinal issues, popular traditions, and associated conventions of Marian iconography developed, and covers Catholic, Orthodox, and other Christian denominations, as well as the Islamic Mary. Taking an interdisciplinary approach that includes art history, archaeology, and gender studies as well as doctrinal history, she considers some of the misunderstandings and unquestioned assumptions about the Virgin Mary that pervade past and present Christian consciousness and today's secular world. Leith also discusses apparitions of Mary and representations of Mary in contemporary popular culture.

Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Features

  • Describes the evolution of Marian thought from early Christianity to the present day
  • Takes an interdisciplinary approach that includes art history, archaeology, and gender studies as well as doctrinal history
  • Considers Mary in Eastern and Western Christianity as well as Islam
  • Discusses Mary in contemporary popular culture
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over ten million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Mary Joan Winn Leith, Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Theology, Stonehill College

Professor Mary Joan Leith works at the Department of Religious Studies and Theology at Stonehill College and has published articles, columns, and blogs on the Virgin Mary. She takes an interdisciplinary approach that includes art history, archaeology, and gender studies as well as doctrinal history.

Table of Contents

    1. Meeting Mary: The Surprising Virgin
    2. Mary in the New Testament, History, and Earliest Christianity
    3. Mary After the Gospels
    4. Mary the Goddess?
    5. Eastern Mary - Byzantium and Islam
    6. Empress of Heaven and Hell: Mary in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
    7. Modern Mary - Reformation to the Present
    Glossary
    References
    Further Reading
    Index

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