Is anyone familiar with the book Chosen among Women: Mary and Fatima in Medieval Christianity and Shi’ite Islam by Mary F. Thurlkill? Does it present Mary/Catholicism in a favorable light?
Why not buy a Catholic book about Our Blessed Mother?
Sadly not all the best history scholars are Catholic so if you want to look at the history and especially things in a non-Catholic context you might need to look at non-Catholic authors.
Sadly I don’t know the book so could neither recommend it or warn against it.
Because my atheist sister would not read a Catholic book about Our Blessed Mother, but Chosen among Women is on her Christmas list.
I see. Sorry, I have never heard of that book until this thread.
I haven’t read it, and I’m not able to find many reviews that aren’t behind a paywall. Here’s a combination one that’s a PDF.
It doesn’t seem to be a totally looney, ahistorical women’s studies book, but it does seem to be offering a lot of “Men only say nice things about women so they can oppress and contain them more.” Paralleling Mary with Islam’s Fatima (she was Mohammed’s daughter and Ali’s wife) would tend to bleed Muslim oppression of women onto the European world’s much less oppressive state.
OTOH, Merovingian and Carolingian Europe are interesting, and saints’ lives are interesting, so it could be a good springboard for further reading if your sister is already knowledgeable about medieval topics, or curious about comparative religion.
Is she somebody who reads widely and thinks independently, or is she somebody who tends to believe everything she reads and can be easily influenced? If the former, there’s no harm in the book. If the latter, you might want to hold back from buying this for her.