The first century Jewish woman, Miriam of Nazareth, mother of Jesus, proclaimed in faith to be Theokotos, the God-bearer, is the most celebrated female religious figure in the Christian tradition. So varied and manifold are the traditions about Mary, both popular and scholarly, that some would speak of "Mary" as a collective noun or refer, in George Tavard's memorable title, to "The Thousand Faces of the Virgin Mary.";In this text, which forms a diptych with "Friends of God" and "Prophets", Elizabeth Johnson offers an interpretation of Mary that aims to be theologically sound, spiritually empowering, ethically challenging, socially liberating, and ecumenically fruitful. In particular, she construes the image of Mary so as to be a source of blessing rather than blight for women's lives in both religious and political terms.
Table of Contents
Part I: Women's Voices in a New Key; 1. Fragments in the Rubble; 2. Women's Theological Work; Part II: Roads Not Taken; 3. Cul-de-Sac: The Ideal Feminine Woman; 4. Cul-de-Sac: The Maternal Face of god; Part III: A Way Forward; 5. A Modest Proposal; 6. Precedents; Part IV: Picturing the Historical World of Mary of Nazareth; 7. The Political-Economic World: Galilee; 8. The Religious World: Second Temple Judaism; 9. The Social World: Gender; Part V: Mosaic: The Dangerous Theological Memory; 10. Scripture Through Women's Eyes; A. Outside; B. Among the Unconventional Foremothers; C. Scandal and the Spirit; D. Wisdom from the East; E. Refugees from Slaughter; F. Call of the Prophet; G. Joy in the Revolution of God; H. "And she gave birth..."; I. Fulfilling Torah; J. Losing and Finding; K. Wine at the Wedding; L. Near the Cross; M. "All filled with the Holy Spirit"; 11. Mary as Friend of God and Prophet in the Communion of Saints
Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J., is distinguished Professor of theology at Fordham University, Bronx, NY. She is the author of She Who is: The Mystery of God in Theological Discourse (winner of the Loiusville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, 1993) and Friends of God and Prophets (Winner of an AAR Award for Excellence In the Study of Religion 1999)