"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Sunday, August 14, 2016

On the Falling Asleep and Rising to Glory of the Glorious Mother of God

With Vespers tonight the fast shall end and the great feast of the Dormition/Assumption of the Mother of God begin, showing all of us who follow her Son what awaits us in the resurrection to come.

As we anticipate this lovely feast, I call your attention again to several books noted on here over the years.

For patristic devotions, see the fine collection amassed and translated by Brian Daley, On the Dormition of Mary: Early Patristic Homilies.

For historical scholarship on the feast the go-to man is Stephen Shoemaker. His first book, from 2006, is The Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition and Assumption.

In 2012, he published a translation of Maximus the Confessor's The Life of the Virgin.

And then, just last month, also from Yale University Press, we have his latest study: Mary in Early Christian Faith and Devotion (2016), 304pp.

About this most recent book we are told:
For the first time a noted historian of Christianity explores the full story of the emergence and development of the Marian cult in the early Christian centuries. The means by which Mary, mother of Jesus, came to prominence have long remained strangely overlooked despite, or perhaps because of, her centrality in Christian devotion. Gathering together fresh information from often neglected sources, including early liturgical texts and Dormition and Assumption apocrypha, Stephen Shoemaker reveals that Marian devotion played a far more vital role in the development of early Christian belief and practice than has been previously recognized, finding evidence that dates back to the latter half of the second century. Through extensive research, the author is able to provide a fascinating background to the hitherto inexplicable “explosion” of Marian devotion that historians and theologians have pondered for decades, offering a wide-ranging study that challenges many conventional beliefs surrounding the subject of Mary, Mother of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...