Mary has been portrayed in many different ways through the centuries: Miriam of Nazareth, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, and Spouse of the Holy Spirit. In a 1975 apostolic letter, Pope Paul VI invited people to find approaches to Mary that were meaningful in our times. Theologian Sister of St. Joseph Elizabeth Johnson has taken up the challenge.
In the Middle Ages and Counter-Reformation, some saw Mary as almost "divine". She was placed on a pedestal and removed from ordinary life experiences. Johnson suggests that we "ask Mary to rejoin us on the ground".
Drawing from Scripture, especially the Magnificat, tradition, and Vatican II, Johnson describes Mary as God's friend and prophet. She shows that Mary is not well served when she is portrayed as the maternal face of God, or as the ideal woman or eternal feminine. Recognizing her as a Jewish peasant woman of faith and strength and a member of the Communion of Saints will lead us to a deeper love and appreciation of Mary.
This presentation was recorded before an audience at the 2000 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.
Sister Elizabeth Johnson is one of the premiere American theologians of our time. This presentation on Marian thology is so necessary for those of us who struggle to with images of Mary that grew up in the Middle Ages when they called her "Queen of Heaven" and "Redemtorix" . She is suggesting that we, among other things that we take her off her pedistal and include her back in the communion of Saints.
The talk is good the questions great. Sr. In her Theology of Mary gives a thought pattern needing a great deal of study. This is a great tease.