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Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture [Paperback]

By Jaroslav Pelikan (Author)
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Item description for Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture by Jaroslav Pelikan...

Explores how Mary has been represented in theology, art, music, and literature throughout the ages

Publishers Description
The Virgin Mary has been a figure of inspiration to Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims, artists, musicians, writers, and men and women everywhere. This text examines how Mary has been depicted and venerated through the ages.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture by Jaroslav Pelikan has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 107
  • New York Times - 04/04/1999 page 24
  • Library Journal - 08/01/1999
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 81

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Yale University Press
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.43" Width: 5.45" Height: 0.91"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 10, 1998
Publisher   Yale University Press
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0300076614  
ISBN13  9780300076615  
UPC  780300076614  

Availability  4 units.
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More About Jaroslav Pelikan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jaroslav Pelikan is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University.

Jaroslav Pelikan has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Albert Schweitzer Library
  2. Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible
  3. Christian Tradition; A History of the Development of Doctrin (Pa
  4. Library of America

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Mariology
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Saints
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Jesus > Historical Jesus
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Religion

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Reviews - What do customers think about Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture?

Rich with Old Testament Types  Feb 10, 2008
From her earliest times, the church has gleaned "types" from the Old Testament that foreshadow the New. St. Paul, in his epistles, identifies Jesus as a type of Adam; the first Adam was disobedient and led to man's fall while the second Adam (Jesus) was obedient and led to man's salvation. With the filter of types, the church began to discover the gospel hidden in the Old Testament waiting for the advent of the Messiah. It was not long at all before the teachers of the church identified types foreshadowing Mary as well.

Mary then became the second Eve; the first Eve was the mother of all the living, and the second Eve (Mary) became the mother of all who are in Christ. This typological approach expanded with time to identify Mary also with the sister of Moses, Miriam, and the wife of Abraham, Sarah, and others.

The affect of understanding Mary in this way had profound affect on western culture. Dr. Pelikan provides more than the scriptural roots of Marian doctrines, he goes on to demonstrate how those doctrines shaped western culture and thought. Dr. Pelikan even delves into the Quran to demonstrate how Marian devotion was so prominent as to make an impact on Mohammed and Islam. What the Quran implies is a rich Christian tradition that includes Marian devotion very early in the life of the church. And that tradition spread rapidly even into the crucible of a new religion in the desert.

Throughout this insightful and enlightening book, Dr. Pelikan introduces then expounds on each topic with clarity and depth of study without being tedious. The reader is not lost in the dusty or intimidating language of scholars but enriched with the cultural significance of Mary in the west. Included are several plates of paintings and sculpture to illustrate the beauty and richness of these traditions.

Roman Catholics with devotion to Mary will find much to feed their love for the church and for Mary in this work. Non-Catholics, seeking to understand why such devotion exists, will find what they seek. All will appreciate the impact Mary has had on western culture.
Thorough history of Mary  Nov 5, 2006
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.
First-rate examination of the Virgin Mary in religion and culture  Jul 13, 2006
Dr. Pelikan presents an excellent, if somewhat abbreviated, overview of the role of the Virgin Mary in the history and doctrine of Christianity and Western culture. As a subject for scholarly examination, the Virgin Mary's colossal influence on Christianity is a prime subject, considering how minimal was her on-stage role in the Christian Scriptures.

What was interesting about the development of her significance in Christian devotion and doctrine was how organic and natural it was, on the part of both theologians and the common believer, as if through the impetus of some divine tropism. As early as the year 150, in the Protoevangelium of James, we have evidence of the veneration of Mary as well as evidence of belief in her perpetual virginity. Other New Testament figures, like the Apostles or Mary Magdalene, were also subjects of early non-canonical literature and legends but the status and importance of the Virgin Mary in devotion and theology began to overshadow them all. Some time in the late 100s, Church Father Iraneaus of Lyons wrote of Mary as the "Second Eve" who, through her obedience, undid Eve's sin of disobedience, just as Jesus was considered a "Second Adam" who destroyed the death that Adam's sin imposed on us. What was intriguing was that he wrote as if he were drawing on a widely accepted and traditional belief that required no need for defense or exposition. It was that kind of typological Old Testament interpretation and need for logical consistency (if the bodies of Enoch and Elijah were transported to Heaven, then the Mother of God surely would have been even more deserving) that informed the development of Marian doctrine in the subsequent centuries. Although I wish Pelikan would have devoted more space to that topic, he provides a very good overview. It should be noted however that the ordinary believer never needed some clerical imprimatur to love Mary. And that would have been an interesting topic for this book. Why do we love her so much?

Dr. Pelikan also deals with the reverance of Moslems towards Mary, Marian appararitions, and her prominence in the art and literature of Christianity, even Protestantism. This is an excellent book if you're interested in the subject.
Mary Through Culture's Eyes  Apr 30, 2005
Pelikan is certainly a scholar, here exhibiting the sweep of some theology, music, poetry and art concerning the Mother of Christ.

He peels back the layers of cultural time, revealing that the view of Mary has changed over generations and differently in the East and West quadrants of Christianity. Also interesting was the exploration into the Quran's view. He touches at points on the Protestant and Reformed view.

What this reviewer found lacking was any real view of correct exegesis of the texts, which are continually smothered with cultural interpretations and philosophical musings about the topic. He at times seems fair of anaylsis, but tends to lean towards traditional buildup and expansion of tangental elements with suspect origins.

All this said, this is valuable exploration and bibliographic resource for exploration into a topic which sometimes gets left out, but musn't. Fine art plates included and commented on as well.
For thinking Christians  Feb 25, 2005
This is an excellent book on Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the companion book on Jesus is excellent,too. Helps if you have a good foundation or at least are familiar with the Bible.

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