From Sacred Body to Angelic Soul: Understanding Mary in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Hardback)
  • From Sacred Body to Angelic Soul: Understanding Mary in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Hardback)
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From Sacred Body to Angelic Soul: Understanding Mary in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Hardback)

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£52.95
Hardback Published: 31/05/2001
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Through an insightful examination of popular sermons by some of the most famous preachers of the day, Donna Spivey Ellington discusses the importance of Marian devotion to the religious understanding of European Christians in the late medieval and early modern periods. She charts a dramatic shift of emphasis in the public portrayal of the Virgin Mary from the 15th through 17th centuries. As Europe experienced the impact of printing and increased literacy, the Protestant Reformation, the growing development of individualism and a private sense of self, and changing attitudes to women, Marian devotion was also transformed. The Church's portrait of the Virgin gradually became focused less on her body and more on her soul. In the late Middle Ages, preachers gloried in Mary's shared flesh with Jesus Christ as his bodily mother. As the one who had given of her immaculate body to form the body of the Son of God, the Virgin possessed a permanent and mystical link with her son that enabled her to participate actively in all aspects of his life and work. She became the source of his suffering body on the cross and of the body of Christ glorified and received in the Eucharistic Host. By the later 16th and early 17th centuries, however, European religious sensibilities began to be altered. The public articulation of Mary's importance reflects that alteration. Preachers downplayed Mary's role as Jesus's bodily mother and praised her role as "spiritual mother" of Christ, united to him much more closely by shared will and affection than by flesh. In addition, Mary began to be portrayed as silent, distant, controlled and obedient, no longer the public, active, and vocal spokeswoman for the Christian community that she had been in the Middle Ages. This book seeks to unlock the complex structure of late medieval piety and opens doors to understanding early modern Catholic spirituality. It should be of interest to readers exploring Marian devotion, late medieval and early modern religious life, or literacy theory.

Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press
ISBN: 9780813210148
Weight: 608 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm

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