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Theotokos Feb 28, 2008
This is a must if anyone is doing a serious study on Mary.
I found it very useful for my dissertation.
Historically Complete But Theologically Dated Mar 8, 2003
This is a basic lexikon of the major teachings, ideas, doctrines, dogmas, and sundry that have been associated with the Virgin Mary from New Testament times until the present. An appendix has been added to update the original 1980 edition of this work. Though O'Carroll sticks to the facts, his own Mariological interpretation permeates the work and tends to color the commentary, instead of a more straightforward historical approach where the historical realities speak for themselves. Be forewarned: his Mariology is very pre-Vatican II, what with its obsession on titles and assertions of Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix, Advocatrix, Adjutrix...you get the idea. It's a very old, dusty, May-Crowned Mariology, one that seems preoccupied with irrelevant and un-Biblical matters like "Queenship" and "Dispensation of Graces," and what not. Also, there is one picky assessment of "Mary at Vatican II" that frankly betrays this theologian's transparent disappointment that more "Queenly" and "Grace-Spewing" qualities of Mary were not a prominent feature of said Council. Otherwise, his translations of the early Fathers are generally quite fair, his facts are straight, and his sources are quoted in exhaustive fashion. But, he injects too much personal theology into the work to make it a truly proper, or five-star lexikon -- which should stick to historical facts, quotes, and a sampling of various interpretations, rather than personal "interpretation of interpretations." Handy, though, if you're doing any kind of research on the Mary-figure. BTW -- Little space is given to any modern Protestant thought on Mary. The principal Reformers are covered, but otherwise, this is strictly an Eastern Patristic/Western Patristic catholic tome. Another mild bit of a strike against its thorough scope.