Evangelicals and Catholics can find common ground on Mary, says this widely respected New Testament scholar. In provocative chapters he considers "woman of justice," "woman of witness," "woman of sorrow," "woman of wonder," "woman of surrender," "woman of faithfulness," "woman of controversy." 164 pages, hardcover. Paraclete.
In this slim, engaging volume, McKnight (Protestant author of The Jesus Creed)
makes the case that the real Mary of the Bible has been hijacked by
theological controversies. He begins by noting that Mary has been seen by
turns as a compliant "resting womb," a damaging stereotype of passivity, a
Christmas figure and a source of "reaction formation" by Protestants, as well
as the mother of Jesus. "The real Mary is no offense to Protestants, but
rather a woman for us to honor," he insists, envisioning her as an
impoverished, bold, gutsy woman of faith. He also portrays her as neither
goddess nor supersaint, but as the mother of God. McKnight lends interesting
cultural context to Mary's simple and courageous words, "let it be," and
unpacks the Magnificat as a song of protest and revolution. He poignantly
portrays Mary's gradual knowledge that her son would not be the triumphant
king envisioned as Messiah, and makes a somewhat controversial case for Mary
having other children. His sections on the immaculate conception and Mary as
mediatrix in prayer should help debunk some Protestants' false impressions of
Catholic belief. McKnight's lucid, sometimes humorous, conversational style
makes this an accessible book for a wide pool of evangelical readers. (Jan.)
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