- Published: 1998
- Number of pages: 288 pages
- Format: PDF
- File Size: 28.77 MB
- Authors: Jaroslav Pelikan
The Virgin Mary has been an inspiration to more people than any other woman who ever lived. For Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Muslims, for artists, musicians, and writers, and for women and men everywhere she has shown many faces and personified a variety of virtues. In this important book, a world-renowned scholar who is the author of numerous books―including the best-selling Jesus Through the Centuries―tells how Mary has been depicted and venerated through the ages.Jaroslav Pelikan examines the biblical portrait of Mary, analyzing both the New and Old Testaments to see how the bits of information provided about her were expanded into a full-blown doctrine. He explores the view of Mary in late antiquity, where the differences between Mary, the mother of Christ, and Eve, the “mother of all living,” provided positive and negative symbols of women. He discusses how the Eastern church commemorated Mary and how she was portrayed in the Holy Qur’an of Islam. He explains how the paradox of Mary as Virgin Mother shaped the paradoxical Catholic view of sexuality and how Reformation rejection of the worship of Mary allowed her to be a model of faith for Protestants. He considers also her role in political and social history. He analyzes the place of Mary in literature―from Dante, Spenser, and Milton to Wordsworth, George Eliot, and Goethe―as well as in music and art, and he describes the miraculous apparitions of Mary that have been experienced by the common people.Was Mary human or divine? Should she be revered for her humility or her strength? What is her place in heaven? Whatever our answers to these questions, Mary remains a symbol of hope and solace, a woman, says Pelikan, for all seasons and all reasons.
Editorial Reviews: From Library Journal As the distinguished Yale theologian and church historian observes, “The Virgin Mary has been more of an inspiration to more people than any other woman who ever lived” and “has been the subject of more thought and discussion of what it means to be a woman than any other woman in western history.” Here, Pelikan traces what Mary has meant in different times and places. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. Review “After finishing Pelikan’s book, one must surely conclude that the Virgin is as fortunate in the ‘subtlety and discrimination’ of her 20th-century chronicler as she has been in her composers.”―John B. Breslin, Washington Post Book World”There can be no doubt that the Queen of Heaven would be pleased with this accolade, and no reader will come away from the work without profit.”―Jo Ann Kay McNamara, New York Times Book Review“A lively and visually beautiful volume that any thoughtful reader can enjoy. . . . For anyone seeking an introduction to the cultural history of the figure of Mary, . . . this book is indispensable, delightful in its intelligence, learning, and remarkable beauty.”—David Myers, Chicago Tribune”This inclusive work covers it all, and in doing so helps explain the importance and attraction Mary has had over the centuries for various cultures and religions.”―Publishers Weekly”Even the general reader with an interest in the subject will be mesmerized by [Pelikan’s] lucidity and analysis. As a writer, Pelikan has an enviable way with words.”―Dorothy A. Boyd-Rush, History”An excellent overview of the Marian literature, ancient and modern.”—Booklist”Devotees and critics of Marian spirituality are both likely to find Jaroslav Pelikan’s accessible, authoritative, and dispassionate history illuminating. . . . Pelikan’s learned study should dispel many misconceptions.”―Karen Armstrong, Boston Book Review”Pelikan has made a valuable contribution for scholars and others interested in the development of doctrine, in Mary and in the ways in which all generations have called Mary ‘blessed,” through art, music and literature.”―Margaret Nutting Ralph, Lexington Herald-Leader”A fascinating account of the intense popularity of, and the phenomenally varied devotion to, the woman whom her cousin Elizabeth called ‘the Mother of my Redeemer.’ . . . To judge by [the book’s] gentle tone, the suavity of its style, and the grace of the writing it seems also to have called forth [Pelikan’s] love as well. . . . Its glory is that it itself is the work of art Nietzsche so praised in all honest history: history written in love.”—Edward T. Oakes, First Things”Pelikan’s scholarship is wide and deep. . . . His presentation of the visual, literary and musical treatment of Mary is well-grounded and richly detailed. . . . Enlightening and fulfilling.”―Judith Bromberg, National Catholic Reporter”Pelikan provides us with a valuable resource and a guide for healthy theological discussion with an emphasis on Mary’s place in faith enculturation. . . . As meditations or inspirational reading, this book maps out a spiritual love affair which has engaged humanity with Mary for centuries.”―Barbara Beckwith, St. Anthony Messenger”Illustrated with beautiful color plates that capture the extraordinary artistic focus on Mary, Pelikan demonstrates how Marian theology and piety interacted with the cultural and social context of each age. This is an informative and respectful study by a first-rate Protestant scholar-and that itself is a hopeful sign of the times.”―Bible Today “Anyone interested in lucid writing, in perceptive historic, artistic, and theological musings, and in the development of doctrine and spirituality will certainly enjoy reading Mary Through the Centuries.”―Robert Brusic, Word & World”Pelikan’s history unfolds with great grace, and the illustrations show its cultural impact in paintings, sculptures, and icons from a variety of nations and periods. Those looking for a theological quarrel about the Virgin will have to turn to sectarians and feminists. Those who wish to appreciate why the Marian tradition lies close to the heart of nearly two thousand years of Christian culture now have no better or wise guide than Jaroslav Pelikan.”—Robert Royal, University Bookman”The strengths of this volume include its ecumenical scope, its use of diverse sources, its wealth of erudite detail, its interesting connections, and its readability―which make key moments of the marian tradition accessible to an educated reading public.”―Elizabeth A. Johnson, Theological Studies”It is rare to find a scholarly work that is easily accessible to the general, educated reader. Pelikan has given us a brilliant and very well written history of Marian devotion.”―Choice“There is no better place to start an in-depth study of Mary’s place in the historic church than Jaroslav Pelikan’s magisterial Mary Through the Centuries. Every chapter brims with insights.”—Steven Gertz and Chris Armstrong, Christian History”[Pelikan’s] purpose is achieved through the rich contents of the book, its clarity of style, and the insightful manner in which Pelikan addresses the role played ‘for the past twenty centuries’ by the Virgin Mary. . . . Pelikan’s understanding of culture is deep, diverse, and global.”―Agnes Cunningham, Canadian Catholic Review”A fascinating and indeed provocative book. It becomes more interesting as one reads.”―Anne Carr, Worship”From the first page, it will be evident to the grateful reader that this excellent book is the work of a modern ‘renaissance man,’ completely at home in a vast range of material, and with a personal involvement in his mature tribute to the Mother of God, daughter of Zion, faithful Virgin, joyful New Eve.”—Eamon Richard Carroll, Librorium Aestimationes”This meticulously written and lavishly illustrated volume is the unusual tribute of an eminent Lutheran church historian to the Mother of Christ.”―Michael J. Miller, Homiletic & Pastoral Review”The book is beautifully written; Pelikan’s command of the niceties of the English language and his skill as a stylist often make the book a sheer pleasure to read. The volume is lavishly illustrated with many of the innumerable depictions of the Virgin Mary produced throughout the centuries. . . . This book is the grand tour of Mariology, and excellent introduction but not a monographic synthesis.”—V. Louise Katainen, Phi Kappa Phi Journal”Pelikan brings a long life of study, teaching, and writing to Mary through the Centuries. He eschews the love-to-hate-her attitude and the need to provide a psychoanalytical rationalization for Marion devotion, both of which characterize much recent work on Mary. Instead, he remains true to his objective, to provide a balanced examination of this potent cultural icon in a learned yet lively and readable text.”―Laurel Broughton, Princeton Seminary Bulletin”It is the sort of small book only large learning can produce: easy to read, hard to forget, and illuminating remarkably many aspects of history, and not only Christian history, during the Common Era.”―James Gaffney, Religious Studies Review”This handsome book . . . is the product of the immense learning of our foremost living historian of Christian doctrine and belief, presented, as we have come to expect, in a readable and thought-provoking style. . . . The book . . . richly deserves all the praise it has received.”―James M. O’Toole, Cross Currents From the Back Cover The Virgin Mary has been an inspiration to more people than any other woman who ever lived. For Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Muslims, for artists, musicians, and writers, and for women and men everywhere she has shown many faces and personified a variety of virtues. In this important book, a world-renowned scholar who is the author of numerous books – including the best-selling Jesus Through the Centuries – tells how Mary has been depicted and venerated through the ages. Jaroslav Pelikan examines the biblical portrait of Mary, analyzing both the New and Old Testaments to see how the bits of information provided about her were expanded into a full-blown doctrine. He explores the view of Mary in late antiquity, where the differences between Mary, the mother of Christ, and Eve, the “mother of all living”, provided positive and negative symbols of women. He discusses how the Eastern church commemorated Mary and how she was portrayed in the Holy Qur’an of Islam. He explains how the paradox of Mary as Virgin Mother shaped the paradoxical Catholic view of sexuality and how Reformation rejection of the worship of Mary allowed her to be a model of faith for Protestants. He considers also her role in political and social history. He analyzes the place of Mary in literature – from Dante, Spenser, and Milton to Wordsworth, George Eliot, and Goethe – as well as in music and art, and he describes the miraculous apparitions of Mary that have been experienced by the common people. About the Author Jaroslav Pelikan is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University. He has received honorary degrees from universities all over the world, as well as medals and awards from many scholarly societies and institutions, including the Jefferson Award of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the highest honor conferred by the U.S. government on a scholar in the humanities. He is currently president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 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Reviews from Amazon users which were colected at the time this book was published on the website:
⭐Jary Pelikan was once the dean of the Yale graduate school but he was also, and more importantly, the dean of church historians. The author of over thirty books, a number of which touched on the themes and materials of this book, he distilled his knowledge of Mariology for a wide audience in Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture. The book begins at the literal beginning and comes down to contemporary times.Mary’s place in the life of the Roman church is explored at length. The virgin birth, her continuing virginity, her immaculate conception and her assumption into heaven, where she serves as queen or empress are subjects of faith that have arisen through dialogue, debate, special pleading, dissent and formal papal definition. Thus, her story is, in many ways, the church’s story and the story of the reformation and counter-reformation. With the Roman church’s focus on both revelation and tradition, Pelikan takes us through the thought of the church fathers, the church councils and successive papacies. He also takes us through the pertinent biblical texts. In doing so, he works in Aramaic, Latin, Greek and, in other contexts, French, English and, occasionally, Russian.This is thus a very learned book but one that is written with a very light touch in a totally accessible style. Those who had the privilege of knowing Jary will attest to the fact that he often spoke in the street vernacular (not in any crude way, but in a down-to-earth one). Thus, he is sometimes given to popular references and popular expressions which also make the book attractive and accessible to general readers.Mary’s place in the ‘history of culture’, of course, entails a great deal of focus on the plastic arts as well as on classical music. At one point in his life Jary considered becoming a classical pianist and one of his primary collaborators and friends was the great Yo-Yo Ma. In other words, he was not just a great polyglot historian, he was also an expert on cultural history. One of the particularly interesting sections of this book is his exploration of the Mariology of Goethe’s Faust, a subject on which he had written extensively.The book consists of 16 chapters. While the material therein is sometimes subtle and complex it is presented straightforwardly. The chapters are generally about 12 pp. in length, which makes for convenient reading.Bottom line: a fascinating book on a very important subject, done by a master scholar with a very human touch. Note that while the author was trained as a Lutheran minister (who was later received into the Orthodox Church in America) he writes as a historian. The book is conceived as an exploration of a historical subject, not as an aid to piety, though the piety of its author is not consciously suppressed. Note that he has written a comparable book on Jesus.
⭐Scholar Jaroslav Pelikan of Yale University once again writes a powerful historical and theological book, this time devoted to Mary, the Theotokos. He reveals the controversies between the Latin West (Roman Catholicism), the Eastern Church (Eastern Orthodoxy) and the Protestant movements and their many divergent views. He takes great care to present the facts, but also reveals the rumors and mystery of history, as well as history’s strengths and weaknesses.Regardless of one’s theological perspective on Mary and her place in the Christian life, this is must reading for anyone interested in doctrinal development throughout Christian history. His chapter on the “second Eve” is clear, concise, yet thorough and accessible to both those who are lay people and academics. This chapter naturally follows into the doctrine of the Theotokos and its importance in Marian doctrine; but more importantly, though not always stated, its importance in the doctrine of Christ. Pelikan shows its development, again, concisely and clearly.Also, very interestingly, Pelikan takes the reader to a not very well known area by many Western Christians and that is the early place Mary held in Islamic cultures and how the Quran pictures her in extremely warming language that it rivals most material elsewhere found in that text.He does not shy away from the controversial aspects of Mariology as well, to include the bodily assumption, the apparitions, and the Immaculate Conception. He shows how the doctrines developed and the problems each one caused between Protestants and Orthodox Christians. Agreements and differences are discussed without making this book into an apologetic for one view or the other (not that apologetic material is wrong, but would have greatly side tracked this text).This is just another outstanding work of which I have had the pleasure to read.
⭐As a Protestant convert to Orthodox Christianity I had the usual misgivings regarding the elevated role of Mary in the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. This book gives a thorough and scholarly approach to how marionology developed over the centuries in both the eastern and western traditions of the church. It was very helpful in enabling me to better appreciate why there is such a veneration of Mary even though there is not much biblical revelation about her. The most surprising thing to me was the Muslim connection to Mary. This book will certainly fill in your knowledge and appreciation for Mary and how she developed into such an icon of the church.
⭐Dense and confusing writing style, but not enough detail for my taste. Still, interesting if you can slightly through the language. I recommend Pelikan’s History of Doctrine series instead.
⭐book though – not fault of the seller – typeset is very small and hard to readbut the seller was perfect
⭐Great book. Good author, very well thought out.Spiritual learning for me. Book arrived in good shape and on time.
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