May 2003


May 2003

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All generations will call me blessed

Mary, Mother of all Christians
M. Cecily Boulding OP

There is so much ignorance from insiders and outsiders about what the Church teaches about Mary. Cecily Boulding is a Dominican who taught theology for many years and was a member of ARCIC. Here she presents the central Marian beliefs in such a way that we can appreciate that Mary is a ‘gift of God for us, providing for some of our – very human – needs’.

What are they saying about Mary?
Sarah Jane Boss

After Vatican II, mariology fell into decline. Sarah Boss is author of Empress and Handmaid* and Director of the Centre for Marian Studies in the University of Wales, Lampeter. Here she detects a recovery, as she surveys recent literature, and shows how Mary ‘may provide Christianity with its best chance of curing the spiritual starvation of the modern era’.

Tina Beattie

Tina Beattie, author of the recent book God’s Mother, Eve’s advocate,* teaches theology at Digby Stuart College, University of Surrey, Roehampton. Here she describes her move from a Protestant upbringing which was suspicious of Mary to a Catholicism whose symbolic femininity ‘led me for the first time to seriously consider the significance of being a woman in the eyes of God’.

How to think about Mary’s privileges
Philip Endean SJ

There is a danger of playing off Mary the woman of Nazareth against Mary the Mother of God. Philip Endean, who is editor of The Way and teaches theology at Oxford University, insists that we have to find a way of ‘understanding them together as complementary truths’.

Popular devotion in a new age
Chris Maunder

Walsingham, Medjugorje, Lourdes, Fatima and many other shrines are expressions of popular Marian devotion. Chris Maunder, who is Head of Postgraduate Studies in Theology at York St John College, examines the characteristics of this devotion within the contemporary context. ‘It is a broad, rich, complex and global affair.’

The Virgin and her dancing partner
Catherine Oakes

In medieval art Mary is portrayed not alone but in the company of Christ. Catherine Oakes is Director of Studies in the History of Art at Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education. Here she uses many examples to show that the ‘whole scheme is centred on the partnership of Christ and the Virgin who perform a divinely choreographed dance’.

Preaching and teaching the Word
Mary Mills

Mary Mills is Head of Theology at Newman College, Birmingham. Here she offers some reflections on the lectionary readings for Sundays and Holy Days of June. These readings belong largely to a cycle of special celebration and stress the centrality of worship and praise of God.

Pastoralia - The Catholic Central Library
Joan Bond

Need a book to help you to prepare a talk, write an essay, check out a quotation? Sometimes it can be difficult, or expensive, to locate books that are specifically Catholic – that is why the Catholic Central Library is so useful, even if you do not live in or near London. Joan Bond, the librarian, tells how the library can be of valuable service.

Postscript: Priesthood for life, not work


Beads and Prayers: the rosary in history and devotion
John D. Miller
Burns & Oates, £10.29
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974

God’s Mother, Eve’s Advocate: A Marian narrative of women’s salvation
Tina Beattie
Continuum, £14.67
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974

With the Grain of the Universe: the Church’s witness and natural theology, being the Gifford Lectures delivered at the University of St Andrews in 2001
Stanley Hauerwas
SCM Press, £13.95
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974