Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Gateway to Heaven: Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Image and Typology in the Patristic and Medieval Periods, Vol. 1: Doctrine and Devotion

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Gateway to Heaven: Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Image and Typology in the Patristic and Medieval Periods, Vol. 1: Doctrine and Devotion

Article excerpt

Gateway to Heaven: Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Image and Typology in the Patristic and Medieval Periods, Vol. 1: Doctrine and Devotion. By Brian K. Reynolds. (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press. 2012. Pp. viii, 415. $39-95 paperback. ISBN 978-1-56548-449-8.)

This is an excellent book that should be owned by anyone interested in the history of Marian doctrine and devotion, and it is terrific that New City Press has now made it so easily and affordably available. The book was origi- nally published under the title Porta Paradisi (Taipei, 2009), and it was long extremely difficult to acquire. This was most unfortunate, since Gateway to Heaven surpasses Hilda Graef's excellent earlier survey of Marian theology and piety in early Christianity and the medieval West, Mary: A History of Doctrine and Devotion (New York, 1963); however, Graef's volume still remains valuable especially for its broader chronological scope and for its superior attention to post-Patristic developments in the Byzantine world.

The work is presented as the first volume of a two-volume study, although it is not clear when the second volume will be issued. This first volume con- centrates, as the title indicates, on the development of Marian doctrine and devotion, whereas the second will consider the history of Mary's various "attributes" and-something that will be most welcome-the history of Marian typology. In the present volume, the focus lies decidedly more on the development of Marian doctrine than devotion, an emphasis that the author explains in the light of the fact that several recent studies have appeared on the history of Marian piety. Nevertheless, the author's contribution to this topic also is significant.

Gateway to Heaven is primarily a work of synthesis that combines the most recent scholarship with a thematic and chronological survey of Marian literature from early and medieval Western Christianity. The chapters are organized around the following topics: (1) Divine Motherhood; (2) Virginity; (3) Mary Co-Redemptrix: Remote Co-Operation; (4) Intercession, Mediation and Devotion; (5) Mary Co-Redemptrix: Immediate Co-Operation; (6) the Assumption; and (7) the Immaculate Conception. …

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