February 25, 2014
Presenter: Mary Christine Athans, B.V.M.

How did Mary, the mother of Jesus, portrayed in the Scriptures as a Jewish woman of the first century, evolve into the blond blue-eyed Nordic virgin whose statues still adorn many churches, classrooms, and homes?  Re-discovering the Jewishness of Jesus in the Vatican II era has led us more recently to searching for the Jewish Mary.  After reflecting on Mary over the centuries in historical, theological, and devotional perspective, this presentation explores what might have been Mary's experiences as a Jewish woman, including her prayer life.  These can lead us to a new appreciation of Mary and of Judaism.  This lecture includes a PowerPoint presentation of Marian art over the centuries with some images of a “Jewish Mary,” inviting us to consider her as a strong woman of wisdom and courage who can be a model in the twenty-first century.             

Sponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry and the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning

Mary Christine Athans, B.V.M. is professor emerita, Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, University of St. Thomas, and adjunct faculty, Loyola University, Chicago, and Catholic Theological Union.