Book: Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The BVM in Patristic Thought


#1

by Fr. Luigi Gambero, Ignatius Press, 1999, 409 pages.

As far as I can tell, this is the first of two volumes on the theology of Mary, as developed in the Church by the early Church fathers (bishops). This volume covers the first through eighth century, Ignatius to John Damascene.

This book is an easy read, discussing the development of Marian theology and devotion.

To me, it was quite interesting to see just how far back the Marian theology go, just how early on all the ideas of Mary's perpetual virginity, her Divine motherhood, etc. developed, in the East and West.

The parallel between Eve and Mary is brought out, over and over again, across the centuries, which ideas survive the onslought of the various early heresies.

There are over three and a half pages of scripture references listed in the back, which were cited in the text.

A lot of time is spent at the beginning carefully laying out the ideas of Mary's perpetual virginity, which are, in fact, integral to the theology of the incarnation itself, that the early Church was developing.

The concept of Mary as mediatrix was widespread by about the fifth or sixth century, a much older idea than I thought it was.

There's a lot of coverage of Mary being foreshadowed in the Old Testament. For example, even the burning bush on Sinai, not consumed by the fire, is said to be a foreshadowing of Mary's motherhood of the Savior, without the cessation or sacrifice of her virginity.

There's some mention of early miracles attributed to Mary and apparitions of Mary.


#2

[quote="sirach2v4, post:1, topic:326919"]
by Fr. Luigi Gambero, Ignatius Press, 1999, 409 pages.

As far as I can tell, this is the first of two volumes on the theology of Mary, as developed in the Church by the early Church fathers (bishops). This volume covers the first through eighth century, Ignatius to John Damascene.

This book is an easy read, discussing the development of Marian theology and devotion.

To me, it was quite interesting to see just how far back the Marian theology go, just how early on all the ideas of Mary's perpetual virginity, her Divine motherhood, etc. developed, in the East and West.

The parallel between Eve and Mary is brought out, over and over again, across the centuries, which ideas survive the onslought of the various early heresies.

There are over three and a half pages of scripture references listed in the back, which were cited in the text.

A lot of time is spent at the beginning carefully laying out the ideas of Mary's perpetual virginity, which are, in fact, integral to the theology of the incarnation itself, that the early Church was developing.

The concept of Mary as mediatrix was widespread by about the fifth or sixth century, a much older idea than I thought it was.

There's a lot of coverage of Mary being foreshadowed in the Old Testament. For example, even the burning bush on Sinai, not consumed by the fire, is said to be a foreshadowing of Mary's motherhood of the Savior, without the cessation or sacrifice of her virginity.

There's some mention of early miracles attributed to Mary and apparitions of Mary.

[/quote]

I just ordered mine and can't wait to get it! Thanks for sharing, sounds like an awesome read :)


#3

In the original post, I should have said "from Justin Martyr to John Damascene." Sorry.

This book is described as being a best seller (since 1999). I'm about 50 pages into the second volume, which is "Mary in the writings of the middle ages" or something like this, by the same author.

Again, very readable.


#4

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