Mary, the mother of Jesus, is one of the most powerful, influential and complex of all religious figures. The focus for women, the inspiration of faith, the subject of innumerable paintings, sculptures, pieces of music and churches, Mary is so entangled in our world that it is impossible to conceive of the history of Western culture and religion ...
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is one of the most powerful, influential and complex of all religious figures. The focus for women, the inspiration of faith, the subject of innumerable paintings, sculptures, pieces of music and churches, Mary is so entangled in our world that it is impossible to conceive of the history of Western culture and religion without her. Miri Rubin's "Mother of God" is a major work of cultural imagination. Mary's role in the Gospels is a relatively minor one, and yet in the centuries during which Christianity established itself she emerged as a powerful, strange and ungovernable force, endlessly remade and reimagined by wave after wave of devotees, ultimately becoming 'a sort of God', in ways that have always made some Christians uneasy.Whether talking about the vast public festivals celebrating Mary that sweep up entire communities or the intense private agony of individual devotion, Rubin's book is a triumph of sympathy and intelligence. Throughout Christianity's journey from mysterious origins to global religion, the "Mother of God" has been a profound presence in countless lives - "Mother of God" is the story of that presence and a book that raises profound questions about the human experience.
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For those who would approach this work with no preconceptions and a desire to understand how the Catholic Church arrived at the present-day view of the Virgin Mary, this is an exceptional analysis of the historical development of the cult of Mary. You will not find a similar work nearly as exhaustive. I stand in awe of the author's energy. She hides none of the problems but treats each fairly. I am Roman Catholic.
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