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Although Mary is a preeminent figure in Christianity and one of the most celebrated women in history, to many Christians she seems distant and unapproachable, a porcelain perfection of abstract motherhood that is irrelevant to their everyday existence. Still, interest in Mary is high, as evidenced by retreats, pilgrimages, liturgical formulations, and church discussions on her. Many Christians are hearing new wisdom in her Magnificat and are searching for ways to integrate her into their lives of faith. Although we inevitably look at Mary from a twenty-first-century perspective, in this book Duckworth shows that our appreciation will be deeply enriched if we remember the sources that have influenced our tradition and try to comprehend the grand sweep of Marian devotion. As descendants of that tradition, we can look to Mary not only as the mother of our Lord but as the mother of a growing, changing church that is finding its way to a contemporary appreciation of her many dimensions. Duckworth addresses six of those dimensions-Mary as prophet, matriarch, theologian, disciple, intercessor, and paradigm-in this compelling work that combines theology, history, devotion, and meditation on biblical texts.
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