In Quest of the Jewish Mary
By: Mary Christine Athans
"[Readers] will come away with a renewed appreciation not only of Mary, the Jewish mother of Jesus, but of the history of the Catholic Church and its relations with Jews and with other Christians. . . . At once enormously informative and, simply put, a great read, indeed, a page turner."" from the Foreword by Eugene J. Fisher
"Few works deliver on the promise of their title with such success as Mary Christine Athans book. . . . The scholarship is solid, the prose accessible and her personal reflections engaging. The book can also be provocative, since discussions of Mary lead to questions about the contested role of women in the church...."--Dr. Sidney Callahan, in America magazine
Jesus, as is well known, was born and raised as a Jew in first-century Palestine. A great deal of theological study has focused on the Jewish cultural and religious context of his life and ministry. It is only natural that this attention should lead us to a new approach to his mother, Mary of Nazareth. To some extent, this quest for the Jewish Mary involves excavating beneath centuries of devotional reflection and artistic depictions that have presented a mythologized Mary, detached from history and from her specific Jewish identity.
In this book, Mary Christine Athans draws on the latest historical research, the fruits of post-Vatican II Jewish-Christian dialogue, the insights of feminist theology, and contemporary spiritual reflection to rediscover the Jewish Mary a woman of enormous courage, strength, and prayer.
Mary Christine Athans, BVM, is a Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, professor emerita at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) and currently adjunct faculty at Loyola University Chicago and the Catholic Theological Union.