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.
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.
Sally Cunneen was the author of Sex: Female Religion: Catholic; Mother Church: What the Experience of Women Is Teaching Her; and A Contemporary Meditation on the Everyday God. She is also cofounder of the interreligious quarterly Cross Currents. She was professor emeritus at Rockland Community College (SUNY). She died in 2009.