Mother of God by Miri Rubin
A History of the Virgin Mary

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How did the Virgin Mary, about whom very little is said in the Gospels, become one of the most powerful and complex religious figures in the world? To arrive at the answers to this far-reaching question, one of our foremost medieval historians, Miri Rubin, investigates the ideas, practices, and images that have developed around the figure of Mary from the earliest decades of Christianity to around the year 1600. Drawing on an extraordinarily wide range of sources—including music, poetry, theology, art, scripture, and miracle tales—Rubin reveals how Mary became so embedded in our culture that it is impossible to conceive of Western history without her.

In her rise to global prominence, Mary was continually remade and reimagined by wave after wave of devotees. Rubin shows how early Christians endowed Mary with a fine ancestry; why in early medieval Europe her roles as mother, bride, and companion came to the fore; and how the focus later shifted to her humanity and unparalleled purity. She also explores how indigenous people in Central America, Africa, and Asia remade Mary and so fit her into their own cultures.

Beautifully written and finely illustrated, this book is a triumph of sympathy and intelligence. It demonstrates Mary’s endless capacity to inspire and her profound presence in Christian cultures and beyond.


About Miri Rubin

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Miri Rubin is professor of history, Queen Mary University of London. She lives in Cambridge, UK.
Published January 1, 2009 by Penguin Group. 560 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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At first glance, it would seem that attempts to write histories of biblical characters must be hampered by the sparsity of extracanonical writings that inform our understandings of the Bible's

Feb 09 2009 | Read Full Review of Mother of God: A History of t...

The Guardian

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The business of how Mary could be both virgin and mother was not simply a sticking-point for literal-minded Jews.

Feb 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Mother of God: A History of t...

The Telegraph

In a section on Mary in Islam, she examines the .

Feb 20 2009 | Read Full Review of Mother of God: A History of t...

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