The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary

Synopsis

This volume provides a concise, nontechnical historical introduction to the church's thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus. The first part of the book sketches the development of Marian thought from the second century to the twentieth century. The second part contains an annotated bibliography of the most important and accessible English-language works on Mary.

Tim Perry, an evangelical Anglican priest, and Daniel Kendall, a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, have joined across the Reformation divide to provide an irenic, balanced volume for students and general readers interested in this most remarkable woman and the ways in which she has shaped Christian thought.

Excerpt

Why bother with Mary? At first glance, it’s a simple question. She takes up relatively little space in the pages of Holy Scripture, is paid passing attention in the Creeds, embodies deep and persistent disagreements about doctrine and devotion across churches East and West, and Protestant and Catholic. Perhaps it is wiser to leave Mary alone for the sake of focusing on larger matters, where the possibility of ecumenical consensus is greater. Upon further reflection, however, the issues the question lays bare are quite complicated and therefore in need of further exploration.

The complications arise from the complex audience at which this book is aimed. Both audiences may have trouble with the question. and perhaps that’s the best place to begin. On the one hand, we hope that people who read this book will be theology students — whether clergy or lay — from Protestant backgrounds, and especially evangelical Protestant backgrounds. For the first group, the question is to be directed at those Christians whose Marian doctrines and devotions seem to detract from devotion to Jesus. There is a sense in which this is a perfectly natural orientation to take up. After all, suspicion of all things Marian is part and parcel of the Protestant tradition from the second generation of the Reformation, and especially among those Christians whose roots extend to the Reformed half of the magisterial movement. It is certainly the way I (Tim) understood the question before I began to take a personal and scholarly . . .

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