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Mary: Images Of The Mother Of Jesus In Jewish And Christian Perspective [Paperback]

By Jaroslav Jan Pelikan (Author), David Flusser (Author) & Justin Lang (Author)
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Item Number 145364  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   106
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.14" Width: 8.48" Height: 0.29"
Weight:   0.56 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2005
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800637062  
EAN  9780800637064  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Three preeminent historians provide an ecumenical portrait of Mary by exploring the varied ways in which the mother of Jesus is perceived. For Pelikan, Mary is the focal point for spirited theological discussion and dogma. For Flusser, Mary is a symbol for myriad Jewish mothers who suffer and endure--the mater dolorosa in a world of total inhumanity. For Lang, Mary is the wife and mother through whom flows the love and devotion of centuries of faithful Roman Catholics. Their engaging text is enhanced by forty-eight pages of full-color illustrations, accompanied by excerpts from early Christian sources and from the Mary legend traditions. Illustrations include photographs of actual sites as well as magnificent reproductions of art inspired by Mary.

Publishers Description
Three preeminent historians provide an ecumencial portrait of Mary by exploring the varied ways in which the mother of Jesus is perceived. Available for the first time in paperback, this edition includes a new Preface and is enhance by 48 pages of full-color illustrations, accompanied by excerpts from early Christian sources and from the Mary legend traditions. Illustrations include photographs of actual sites as well as magnificent reproductions of art inspired by Mary.

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More About Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, David Flusser & Justin Lang

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jaroslav Pelikan is Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University and past president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His many books include the five-volume The Christian Tradition, Jesus Through the Centuries, and Mary Through the Centuries. He has received the Thomas Jefferson Medal of the National Endowment for the Humanities and an honorary degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America as well as forty-one other honorary degrees.

Jaroslav Pelikan was born in 1923 and died in 2006.

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Mary in Ecumenical Perspective  Jul 11, 2005
After more than 500 years of antipathy to Mary as "idol worship" or objections on other grounds, Protestants are looking deeper into the Biblical passages about Mary that have long been neglected across the Catholic-Protestant divide. Mary is finally more out in the open as a topic of discussion, reflection and devotion among many across the spectrum of Protestantism.

Protestant appreciation and attention to Mary at a popular level became more apparent on March 21, 2005 when Time Magazine devoted its cover to Mary. In "Hail, Mary", David Van Biema noted that many Protestants are finding their own reasons to celebrate Mary in ways that stretch far beyond the traditional birth narratives.

Within weeks of the publication of the Time feature article, Fortress Press, a mainline Protestant publisher published Mary: Images of the Mother of Jesus in Jewish and Christian Perspective (2005) under the triple authorship of Jaroslav Pelikan, David Flusser and Justin Lang. Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox and Jews will find much that they can appreciate about Mary in this slim tome. Jews can connect with Mary as the "mother of sorrows." Orthodox Christians of every denomination can connect to Mary as mother of Jesus and of God. Catholics enjoy a diversity of theological and devotional approaches to understand, celebrate and venerate Mary.

Mary as Jewess and Mother of Sorrows Then and Now

The late David Flusser, an internationally renowned scholar of New Testament and early Judaism and also Professor of Comparative Religion at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem urges us to reflect carefully on Mary as a devout Jewish woman. Flusser urges us to remember that Mary was a real living person in history who functioned within the late Judaism of her time. For him, Mary is the Jewish mother of Christ and should be seen as both a symbol of the church but also a symbol for her people.

Flusser urges us to reflect on the past and present Mary as our "mother of sorrows." As a practicing Jew, Flusser discusses Mary in the context of Jewish martyrdom. For Flusser, the cross of Jesus belongs to Christology and Jewish martyrdom. Mary therefore possesses a "transcendental worth." Therefore Mary is the "certain link between Jesus and the Jewish People." Through her sufferings, human suffering is made holy and this understanding can "cross all confessional boundaries." One only need to think of Mary's profound sorrow over the fate of European Jews in the Holocaust.

The Theology of Mary

Jaroslav Pelikan the pre-eminent historian of the development of Christian doctrine is no stranger to Mary. His Mary Through the Centuries (1996, 1998) and earlier Jesus through the Centuries (1985, 1999) were critically acclaimed best sellers. His essay "Mary and Christian Doctrine" reminds us that Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox believers share certain essentials about Marian beliefs despite the notable differences since the Protestant Reformation. Actually, the differences stretch back to the Council of Nicea in 325 where Bishops of the Church differed over the legitimate development of doctrine beyond the language of the New Testament environment.

As doctrine and devotion developed, Pelikan noted that "Christology and Mariology are inextricable" in the sense that without Christology, there can be no doctrinal belief regarding the place of Marian belief and devotion.

What then is the place of Mary that holds ecumenical assent across the confessional lines? What can be said with reasonable assurance is that Mary authenticates the true humanity of Jesus because he was "born of a woman." Second, Pelikan asserts that Mary is the Virgin Mother and that this belief is the "unanimous teaching of all the orthodox fathers of the church . . . a patristic consensus." This teaching was subsequently affirmed by Luther, Calvin and Bullinger as the reformation consensus too. This unity of belief is of course, reflected in the Creed shared by all Christians.

Mary is also seen as Mother of God by Catholics, Lutherans and Orthodox Christians while the Reformed denominations of the Reformation do not hold as firmly to this consensus in terms of the development of this doctrine as reflected especially in Catholic teaching.

The remaining explanations of the Marian doctrines such as her perpetual virginity, immaculate conception (i.e. born without sin) and the assumption are not universally shared across confessional lines primarily because differences in beliefs about church authority and how far one is authorized to say that doctrinal beliefs develop.

Pelikan's sketch of the Christian doctrine of Mary is especially valuable because it is succinct, clear, readable, the product of wide learning and arises out of his own education and devotion. Pelikan was a Lutheran for most of his life but converted to Orthodoxy late in life.

Mary and Catholic Practice

Justin Lang a Franciscan priest sketches Mary in the context of Catholic devotion and practice. Immediately, Father Lang wonders if the "Marian age of the Catholic church is at an end." He laments the loss of devotion in this secular age but see opportunities too.

This first thing Lang tells us is that within the Catholic Church its theologians are divided into "Mariological maximalists and minimalists." Given these two poles of theological thought what is a Catholic (or others for that matter) to make of Mary? Part of the answer is that theology and theologians are not the full measure of Catholic teaching practice. The Catholic Church has had its share of wayward theologians over the centuries-especially in the Post Vatican II era.

How then should Mary be approached? Farther Lang asserts that "Mary ... is the summation of all that the church and Christian life must be if they wish to correspond to their own center, which is called Jesus Christ." From this perspective, Christians and especially Catholics are called on to me maximalists when it comes to Mary.

In his view Mary is the pre-eminent model of holiness. Mary guarantees the humanity of Jesus and affirms the Incarnation in that she is the bearer of God (Theotokos). Since Mary is so full of grace, she is worthy of devotion and veneration which must not be confused with worship. Catholic teaching has always been clear on this critical distinction.

The Life of Mary in Brief Text and Pictures

Christian art, symbols and icons of the West and the East offer splendid visual entries into the Christian life that inspire and offer an added dimension to devotion the editors of this fine book provide an excellent sketch profile of the life and mission of Mary in 48 full color plates of art from around the world. These visual representations can teach as much as the word if you just let them lead you deeper into the mystery of Christ and Mary.

The authors and editors of Mary: Images of the Mother of Jesus have in the space of just over 100 pages done Christians and all other readers an enormously good service by making Mary uniquely understandable in our time for all audiences.

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