Dormition vs. Assumption of Mary

I had a friend recently show me the following quote from N.T. Wright.

“Though attempts are made to align the ‘dormition’ of Mary (her ‘falling asleep’, i.e. her death) with her ‘assumption’, the two are in fact significantly different. The Orthodox say Mary died and that her body is resting and will eventually be rejoined with her soul; the Romans say she didn’t die, and that both her body and soul are already in Heaven.”

Which makes absolutely no sense to me because he has told me that the Orthodox and Catholic Mariology is quite different and I’m guessing because of this quote. I just recently got some books on Orthodox and Catholic Mariology (albeit from only Anglo-Catholic and Orthodox perspectives) hoping to clear some confusion up.

Does anybody know what N.T. Wright is meaning when he says “attempts” because from Pope Pius XII’s definition of the doctrine of the Assumption, he certainly makes it clear that Mary died. Wright doesn’t make any citations which I also find odd.

Also, my friend’s a Biblicist and doesn’t take anything if it “can’t be found in the Bible”. He’s a pastor at an Evangelical Covenant Church.

Source:
For All the Saints p. 23

She died and immediately thereafter was assumed into Heaven, immediately after which She was crowned by the Holy Trinity.

The detailed life of Mary the Mother of God was revealed by God and Our Lady to St. Mary of Agreda and whose account of this, called “The Mystical City of God” was approved by several popes and a number of bishops. It covers much detail, from the prophecy at the Beginning of Creation to Her Immaculate Conception, her life and that of Jesus, and everything else.

Hope you read it and believe it.

I agree. The Incarnation can never separate Mary from Jesus. Also firmly believe that St Joseph stands next to Christ.

The Latin Church has never taken an official position on whether Mary died before the Assumption or not. In Pius XII’s dogmatic statement, the phrase “having completed the course of her earthly life,” leaves open the question of whether the Virgin Mary died before her assumption or whether she was assumed before death; both possibilities are allowed.

vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus_en.html

Therefore there is no inconsistency between the Dormition and the Assumption.

We are not requried to accept the content of private revelation, even “approved” private revelation. However, that said, In Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma he states that “the fact of her death is almost generally accepted by the Fathers and Theologians, and is expressly affirmed in the Liturgy of the Church”, to which he adduces a number of helpful citations, and concludes that “for Mary, death, in consequence of her freedom from original sin and from personal sin, was not a consequence of punishment of sin. However, it seems fitting that Mary’s body, which was by nature mortal, should be, in conformity with that of her Divine Son, subject to the general law of death”.

=newenglandsun;11310540]I had a friend recently show me the following quote from N.T. Wright.

“Though attempts are made to align the ‘dormition’ of Mary (her ‘falling asleep’, i.e. her death) with her ‘assumption’, the two are in fact significantly different. The Orthodox say Mary died and that her body is resting and will eventually be rejoined with her soul; the Romans say she didn’t die, and that both her body and soul are already in Heaven.”

Which makes absolutely no sense to me because he has told me that the Orthodox and Catholic Mariology is quite different and I’m guessing because of this quote. I just recently got some books on Orthodox and Catholic Mariology (albeit from only Anglo-Catholic and Orthodox perspectives) hoping to clear some confusion up.

Does anybody know what N.T. Wright is meaning when he says “attempts” because from Pope Pius XII’s definition of the doctrine of the Assumption, he certainly makes it clear that Mary died. Wright doesn’t make any citations which I also find odd.

Also, my friend’s a Biblicist and doesn’t take anything if it “can’t be found in the Bible”. He’s a pastor at an Evangelical Covenant Church.

Source:
For All the Saints p. 23

First thanks for asking:)

As to your friend, suggest the last two chapters of John’s Gospel:

John 20:30-31 “Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.”

John 21:24-25 “This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things, and hath written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written”

AND THEN ASK for evidence of their position that “everything is in the bible”

I Love our Brethern in the Eastern churches BUT be carful of the One is SCHISM.

Christ choose Peter alone to HEAD his new One Faith in One Church religion. Mt. 16:1519

And Commanded ONLY the Apostles through Peter to TEACH His Faith.
Mark 16:14-15 & Mt. 28:16-20 are very cleay nd precise about this.

AND Only the catholic church[s] have Christ and the Holy Spirit to guide, guard and PROTECT it it teaching the FULLNESS of God’s truth

Jn. 17:14-21
" I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; as I also am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. ***[this means with God OWN Powers and Authority!] *** And for them do I sanctify myself [only and exclusively] , that they also may be sanctified in truth. **And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word **shall believe in me; That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."

God Bless you!
Patrick [PJM] Here on CAF

Revelation 12:13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.

Mary is the woman. God (the great eagle) lifted her up (assumed her) and flew her to a place prepared in the wilderness (the promised land), where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time (the end of time), out of the serpants reach. So away from earth as we know it.

Why is your friend reading NT Wright then?

I mean if possible everyone should read at least something of Wright’s stuff but still he’s outside the bible.

I don’t see much of a point to discussing a topic of which not much can be known, except that Mary was raised into heaven and she was either alive or dead. I don’t think theres a good theological argument to object to mary being raised into heaven alive, because Elijah was raised into heaven alive. As for the dormition I like how one Catholic priest put it, how could the ark of God be given over into corruption?

The Assumption of Mary is one of the few papally-defined dogma’s of the church. Previous to the pope defining this doctrine, it had already achieved widespread acceptance.

The Dormition of Mary is not a dogma. It is an open question as to whether Mary died or not prior being bodily assumed into Heaven. Whether the Orthodox accept the dogma of the assumption or the theory of her dormition does not directly apply towards determining the truthfulness of either theological concept.

At the time the Tradition of Mary’s Dormition was formed there was only one church, and the question about Mary’s death was the underlying mystery beneath but very much secondary to, the irrepressible revellation of the Sacred Tradition of her Glorious Assumption into Heaven. As time went on tragic schismatism worsened and conflicts overboiled into theological and Mariological disputation. The Eastern Catholic Church began to define itself more and more as being in opposition to Latinistic doctrines about Mary, so they naturally developed this non sacred tradition that Mary had died whereas Roman Catholicism always gives the highest honor to her and just reserves the possibility, not without good reason that she in fact was preserved from death.

How is it giving less honour to mary to believe she died? Thats like saying we give less honour to Jesus because we believe he also died.
[/quote]

Don’t ask me. He would say that he reads a guy but then double-checks as to whether what the guy says matches up with what the Bible says. He comes from a Calvinist background but is now an Arminian (I have no clue as to if this is a five-point Arminian stance he has) but nevertheless, was somehow able to “scripturally” disprove Calvinism (otherwise, he wouldn’t be an Arminian, right?).

I could never understand Evangelicalism and how one could hold to sola scriptura but have nothing really solid to defend their faith with. That’s why I gave up Protestantism.

It is my understanding that when we die we fall asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

This is why you should always treat someone writing on what other religions believe with a grain of salt.

While the emphasis between the two teachings is different - Orthodox on her death, Catholics on her rising into heaven, the official teachings of both Churches are the same. There are Orthodox who deny she was assumed into heaven, and there are Catholics who deny she died, but both these groups hold beliefs contrary to the teachings of their Church.

It isn’t Dogma, but it certainly isn’t an open question. It is something which the church teachings are quite clear on.

[quote=bsroufek] She died and immediately thereafter was assumed into Heaven, immediately after which She was crowned by the Holy Trinity.

The detailed life of Mary the Mother of God was revealed by God and Our Lady to St. Mary of Agreda and whose account of this, called " The Mystical City of God" was approved by several popes and a number of bishops. It covers much detail, from the prophecy at the Beginning of Creation to Her Immaculate Conception, her life and that of Jesus, and everything else.

Hope you read it and believe it.
[/quote]

Awesome book! Did you read the 700 page abridged version or the full version?

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Unfotunately this is a completely false representation of the Orthodox position; sadly, from some of the replies to this thread, it appears to be accepted as true.

Perhaps a study of the iconopgraphy of the festival and the liturgical texts for the feast (15th August, which continues for eight days and is preceded by a strict fast of 14 days) might prove enlightening.

The Mother of God’s belt is preserved on Mount Athos. The Apostle Thomas arrived too late for her burial in Gethsemane but beheld her ascending into heaven and received it from her hand. At his insistance the other apostles, unbelieving, assembled at the tomb and opened it… and found it empty.

Except that the bull proclaiming the dogma does agree she died, as is held by Tradition.

Except nothing, it presents both traditions and states only that the course of her earthly life was completed.

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