"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).

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Mother of Life Passes into Life

On this lovely summer festival of the Theotokos and her translation from life to life, I draw your attention to a book about her Dormition whose author I interviewed on this day last year. I would also point out an earlier book, and a lovely rendition of the festal troparion here.

We also have fresh studies to note, including this rather comprehensive collection bearing a slew of endorsements from some major scholars of our time: Brian K. Reynolds, Gateway to Heaven: Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Image and Typology in the Patristic and Medieval Periods: Volume I: Doctrine and Devotion (New City Press, 2012), 470pp.

About this book we are told:
This first volume lays out all the Marian doctrines and their evolution in a clear and easy-to-follow format as well as providing two chapters on patristic and medieval devotion. (Doctrines discussed include Mary's divine motherhood and its impact on Christology; Mary's virginity -- before, during, and after the birth of Jesus; intercession and mediation, and Marian co-redemption.) It provides, for the first time, extensive citations from original works, both patristic and medieval, many of which have never appeared in English before. Thus, it gives a firsthand insight into the figure of Mary and her religious and cultural importance. The author's principal purpose is to focus on the internal dynamics of Christianity in the development of Marian doctrine and devotion so that, without pushing a Catholic or even Christian point of view, the book seeks to counter erroneous interpretations that are all too frequently found in well-known and oft-cited works.
There is, in addition, a recent book devoted to Marian icons: Maria Terzopoulou, Byzantine Aegina: Faces of the Mother of God (2012).

About this book we are told:
This publication is the result of a photographic pilgrimage through Medieval Byzantine Churches on Aegina Island in Greece. The author visits the Byzantine Churches there in search for Medieval fresco paintings. The publication accompanied a photographic exhibit held at the Janalyn Hanson White Gallery at Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids from 13-21 May, 2012. This excellent collection of photographs of Byzantine and Ancient Greek monuments also contains information on development of Orthodox iconography and the influence of the Virgin and Child composition on western sacred art.

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