Item description for In Search of Mary: The Woman and the Symbol by Sally Cunneen...
Overview Cuneen's Search for Mary examines the role of Our Lady from the New Testament to the contemporary period within the Roman Catholic perpspective but with an ecumenical eye. This engaging study, accessible to general as well as scholarly audiences, provides a much-needed context for the growong body of material on Mary.
Publishers Description Mary--relic of the religious past or beacon of the future? Mary is more alive today than she was in the early Christian church, surfacing in art and worship in almost every culture on earth. Her appeal bridges the gap between the devotional and the secular, the uneducated and the sophisticated. But who is Mary and what exactly does she symbolize? How did a humble Jewish girl become the most honored woman in human history? Why is there so little about Mary in the Bible and so much about her in the art and history of Christianity, East and West? And why, in an age dominated by science and technology, does devotion to Mary persist? In Search of Mary is Sally Cunneen's provocative response to these questions. As Cunneen eloquently points out, in order to see Mary whole, it is important to look at all the different visions and versions of her, revisiting history through the eyes of a present day searcher. Including the latest findings by historians, anthropologists, and psychologists, as well as art historians and religious scholars, In Search of Mary reveals what we know about the life of Mary, follows the history and development of her image over the last two thousand years, and explores the different ways that Mary has transformed the lives of people today.
As we struggle for greater unity in a divided world, In Search of Mary shows us a woman who can touch all people, regardless of their backgrounds. She is a profound reminder of the presence of the holy in ordinary life.
Citations And Professional Reviews In Search of Mary: The Woman and the Symbol by Sally Cunneen has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 10/15/1996 page 64
Kirkus Reviews - 06/15/1996 page 871
Booklist - 08/01/1996 page 1859
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Studio: Ballantine Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.36" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.97" Weight: 0.97 lbs.
Release Date Aug 20, 1996
Publisher Ballantine Books
ISBN 0345382463 ISBN13 9780345382467
Reviews - What do customers think about In Search of Mary: The Woman and the Symbol?
Excellent Book Jul 9, 2005
I see some very negative reviews on here from people criticizing the book for not emphasizing Mary's historical Jewishness. Well, that is not the purpose of this excellent introduction to Mary's role in Western Christian theology. It is more about how the culture as a whole sees Mary --- from traditional views to modern liberation ideas. I must add that the book is very balanced as well and only the most jaded of conservatives and liberals will take offense at it. I was seeking a book about the history of Mary in Western culture after having a particularly meaningful Jungian-type dream about her. I found In Search Of Mary to be exactly what I was looking for after examining many books in my local bookstore. I can't believe this book doesn't have an average rating of 4 stars. Some more reviews by fairer critics will hopefully rectify the situation soon.
Gentile feminist remakes Mary after her own image Apr 12, 2001
Cunneen's treatment of Mary (Miriam) is much more of a self-portrait. Her Gentilized remake of this remarkable Jewish woman is almost laughable, were it not laced with subtle anti-semitism. As a Jewish feminist, I do not judge my Catholic sister; but Cunneen seems oblivious to how much she projects her own alienation from Catholicism onto Mary -- as though de-judaizing this woman of faith is the best way to make her a model for Gentile feminists.
Where is the jewishness of Mary? Where is the Hebrew Bible background? Cunneen's analysis is exclusively rooted in New Testament and Greco-Roman developments. Is she allergic to her identity as a Jewish woman of faith? Or does that not relate to her feminist agenda? A nice balance of modern political correctness and ancient marcionitism. Latent anti-semitism too.
Help for Christians Confused About Mary Oct 28, 1997
I found Cunneen's In Search of Mary to be a well-written introduction to Marian theology. In a scholarly manner it traces the significance of Mary in the Church and larger society since biblical times. It seems to reflect the author's search for the meaning of Mary in her own Catholic faith, a faith where changing church doctrine in the last several years has obscured her role.
Cunneen, a Catholic feminist theologian writes objectively. There is no attempt to overtly promote a renewel of Marian piety. However, she does a good job at refuting the Reformation's attempt to completely eliminate Mary from the Reformed church. She writes particularily well about Protestant women who tried to integrate Mary into their faith in the late 19th century.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to get their feet wet in this fascinating and controversial area.