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.
bVery Short Introductionsb: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring /b
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.
The series focuses on providing a broad and detailed scholarly yet accessible background to the Virgin Mary. This the author accomplishes, engagingly and comprehensively. * Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, Ave: Magazine of the Society of Mary * The book, like other volumes in The Very Short Introduction series, is interdisciplinary and focuses on providing a broad,and detailed scholarly, yet accessible background to the Virgin Mary. This the author accomplishes, engagingly and comprehensively. While Leith's approach here is not devotional, her respect for her subject and devotees is apparent. The book is both detailed and informative and provides technical background helpful to teaching and preaching on
Mary. * Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, AVE, the Magazine of the Society of Mary * Winn Leith provides an engaging and wide-ranging survey. [...] A particular strength of the books is that Winn Leith is able to depict devotion to Mary not only as a historical curiosity, but as a living tradition. * Edward Dowler, Church Times *