The Virgin Mary: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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. Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring 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.
Mary Joan Winn Leith, Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Theology, Stonehill College Professor Mary Joan Leith works at the Department of Religious Studies and Theology at Stonehill College and has published articles, columns, and blogs on the Virgin Mary. She takes an interdisciplinary approach that includes art history, archaeology, and gender studies as well as doctrinal history.