Syllabus 2012

 “All the steam in the world could not, like the Virgin, build Chartres.”
--Henry Adams (1918)

More than a saint but less than God, no figure of Christian devotion other than Christ has inspired as much piety or excited as much controversy as Mary, the Virgin Mother of God.  In this course, we will study the development of the Virgin’s image and cult from her descriptions in the Gospels through the modern papal definitions of Marian dogma so as to come to some understanding how and why this woman “about whom the Gospels say so little” has become a figure of such popular and theological significance.  We will consider both the late antique origins and medieval flowering of her cult as well as its dismantling, transformation, transmission, and reinvention in the centuries since.

Books Available for Purchase from the Seminary Co-op Bookstore

Brian E. Daley, S.J., On the Dormition of Mary: Early Patristic Homilies (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1998).  [ISBN 0-88141-177-9]
M.M. Miles, Maiden and Mother: Prayers, Hymns, Songs and Devotions to Honour the Blessed Virgin Mary (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2001).   [ISBN 0-89870-780-3]
Bernard of Clairvaux, Homilies in Praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary, trans. Marie-Bernard Saïd, Cistercian Fathers Series 18A (Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1993).  [ISBN pb 0-87907-148-6]
Amadeus of Lausanne, Eight Homilies on the Praises of Blessed Mary, trans. Grace Perigo, Cistercian Fathers Series 18B (Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1979).   [ISBN 0-89707-418-3]
Barbara Newman, Frauenlob’s Song of Songs: A Medieval German Poet and His Masterpiece (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006).  [ISBN 0-271-02925-0]
Revelations of St. Bridget on the Life and Passion of Our Lord and the Life of His Blessed Mother (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1984).  [ISBN 0-89555-233-7]
St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, trans. Mary Barbour (Bay Shore, NY: Montfort Publications, 1954).  [ISBN 0-89555-056-3]
Mary of Agreda, The Mystical City of God: A Popular Abridgement of the Divine History and Life of the Virgin Mother of God, trans. Fiscar Marison (Tan Books, 2009).  [ISBN 0895550709]

Recommended: Sarah Jane Boss, ed., Mary: The Complete Resource (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) [BT610 .M37 2007]

All other readings will be available on e-reserve through the course Chalk site under “Library Course Reserves.”

Course Requirements

1.  Read as much as you can of the assigned readings and come to class prepared to participate in the discussion.  This course has a fairly heavy reading load (how could anyone say enough about the Virgin?); the more you are able to read, the more you will get out of our discussions.  (Mary would, of course, want you to read everything carefully, but she understands if it is all a bit overwhelming.)

2.  Post two reflections (900-1200 words each) on the course blog following our class discussion for that day.  Reflections must be posted within 48 hours of our class discussion (by Wednesday at 1:30pm for Monday discussions; by Friday at 1:30pm for Wednesday discussions).  There will be a sign-up on the first day for you to choose which days you will be responsible for a reflection. For days on which you are responsible for reflections, you should be sure to read everything assigned for that day. Everyone will login as “Mary’s Servant,” so be sure to sign your blog posts with your initials! These reflections will be worth 35% of your final grade.

3.  Comment (about 200 words each) on at least five posts for five different discussions/class days (different from the days on which you post your reflections).  Blog comments plus attendance and discussion in class will be worth 20% of your final grade.

4.  Final project worth 45%. 

Reading and Discussion Assignments
If all the world turned into quills
And atoms scribes, for all their skills
This host could not her praise reveal
Nor even match the Virgin’s heel.

As many scribes as there are leaves,
Rocks, pebbles, groves or dripping seas
Could not the Virgin worthily
Describe in all eternity.

If scribes were numbered with the stars
That twinkle in the face of Mars
Or drops of rain that on earth fall,
The matter’s weight would crush them all.
--Walter of Wimborne, Marie carmina,
stanzas 4-5a, trans. A.G. Rigg

March 26  Mary in the Scriptures
Genesis 3:15; 1 Samuel (Kings) 2:1-10; Psalm 44 (Vulgate) | 45 (Hebrew); Proverbs 8; Song of Songs (Song of Solomon); Wisdom of Solomon 7-8; Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 24; Isaiah 7:14, 11:1; Ezekiel 44:2-3; Micah 5:1-3
Matthew 1-2, 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-5, 6:3; Luke 1-2; John 2:1-12, 19:17-30; Acts 1:14; Galatians 4:4; Revelation 12:1-6

March 28 Mary in the Apocrypha
“The Protoevangelium of James,” in J.K. Elliott, The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), pp. 48-67 [BS3832.E5 1993]
“The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew,” in Elliott, Apocryphal New Testament, pp. 84-99 [BS3832.E5 1993]
“Concerning the Nativity of St. Mary” [The Old English Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew], in Mary Clayton, The Apocryphal Gospels of Mary in Anglo-Saxon England, Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England 26 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 164-209 [BS2851 .C55 1998]
Jacobus de Voragine, “The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” in The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints, trans. William Granger Ryan, 2 vols. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 2:149-58 [BX4654.J3340 1993]

April 2  The New Eve
Ireneus, Against Heresies, bk. 3, chaps. 21-22; bk. 5, chap. 19, in Ante-Nicene Fathers 1, ed. Philip Schaff []
Tertullian, “On the Flesh of Christ,” ch. 17, in Ante-Nicene Fathers 3, ed. Philip Schaff []
Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion, trans. Frank Williams, 2 vols. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1987-1994), 2:620-29 (“Against Collyridians”) [BR65.E653P360 1987]
Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns, trans. Kathleen E. McVey (New York: Paulist Press, 1989), pp.  75-81, 89-109, 118-23, 131-35, 140-57, 214-17 [BR65.E632E50 1989]

April 4  Theotokos
Proclus of Constantinople, “Homily 1: On the Holy Virgin Theotokos Delivered while Nestorius was seated in the Great Church of Constantinople,” “Homily 4: On the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” and “Homily 5: On the Holy Virgin Theotokos,” in Nicholas Constas, Proclus of Constantinople and the Cult of the Virgin in Late Antiquity: Homilies 1-5, Texts and Translations, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 66 (Leiden: Brill, 2003), pp. 128-56, 212-72 [B701.​Z7N53 2003 or BR65.​P6423 H663 2003eb]
Letters of Cyril and Nestorius read at the Council of Ephesus (431 AD), in Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, ed. Norman Tanner, 2 vols. (London: Sheed and Ward, 1990) []
“The Akathistos Hymn,” in Leena Mari Peltomaa, The Image of the Virgin Mary in the Akathistos Hymn, The Medieval Mediterranean 35 (Leiden: Brill, 2001), pp. 2-19 [BT608.732.P458 2001]
Qur’an 3:35-51, 19:16-35, trans. George Sale, in Mary: The Complete Resource, ed. Boss, pp. 480-83 [BT610 .M37 2007]

April 9  Transitus Mariae
“The Assumption of the Virgin,” in Elliott, Apocryphal New Testament, pp. 691-723 [BS3832.E5 1993]
John of Thessalonica, Andrew of Crete, Germanus of Constantinople, and John of Damascus, On the Dormition of Mary, trans. Brian Daley, pp. 47-67, 103-239 [BT608.​A1 O6 1998]
Rachel Fulton, "'Quae est ista quae ascendit sicut aurora consurgens?': The Song of Songs as the Historia for the Office of the Assumption." Mediaeval Studies 60 (1998): 55-122. [D111.M5]
Jacobus de Voragine, “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” in The Golden Legend, trans. Ryan, 2:77-97 [BX4654.J3340 1993]

April 11  The Office of the Virgin Mary
Peter Damian, Letters 17, 106, 142, and 166, trans. Owen J. Blum and Irven Resnick, Letters, Fathers of the Church, Mediaeval Continuation, 6 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1989-2005), 1:145-57, 4: 174-91, 5: 127-42, 6:228-32 [BX4700.P77A40 1989]
The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary []
Rebecca Baltzer, “The Little Office of the Virgin and Mary’s Role at Paris,” in The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages: Methodology and Source Studies, Regional Developments, Hagiography, eds. Margot Fassler and Rebecca Baltzer (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 463-84 [ML3080 .D58 2000]
Roger S. Wieck, Painted Prayers: The Book of Hours in Medieval and Renaissance Art (New York: George Braziller, 1997), pp. 51-78 [ND3363.A1 W54 1997]

April 16  Cistercian Mary
Bernard of Clairvaux, Homilies in Praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary, trans. Marie-Bernard Saïd, pp. 1-58 [BT608 .B47 1993]
Amadeus of Lausanne, Eight Homilies on the Praises of Blessed Mary, trans. Grace Perigo, pp. 1-75 [BT608.​M2]

April 18  Mater misericordiae
The Miracles of Our Lady of Rocamadour, trans. Marcus Bull (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1999), pp. 97-108, 111-12, 121, 134, 137-42, 144-46, 150-53, 164-65, 177-79, 184-85 [BT660.​R54 B85 1999]
Gautier de Conci, “The Tumbler of Our Lady,” in The Tumbler of Our Lady and Other Miracles, trans. Alice Kemp-Welch (London: Chatto and Windus, 1908), pp. 1-33 []
“Gaude, Maria!” and “Our Lady of the Tournament,” in Evelyn Underhill, The Miracles of Our Lady Saint Mary Brought Out of Divers Tongues and Newly Set Forth in English (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1906), pp. 27-40, 121-32 []
Alfonso X, The Songs of Holy Mary of Alfonso X, the Wise: A Translation of the Cantigas de Santa Maria, trans. Kathleen Kulp-Hill (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2000), pp. 1-29 [PQ9189.A44 C313 2000]
Johannes Herolt, Miracles of the Blessed Virgin Mary (excerpts), in Medieval Popular Religion, 1000-1500, ed. John Shinners (Peterborough: Broadview, 1997), pp. 130-40 [BR252 .M42 1997]

April 23  Mater dolorosa
Anselm of Canterbury, “Prayers to Christ and Mary,” in The Prayers and Meditations of Saint Anselm, trans. Benedicta Ward (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973), pp. 93-99, 106-126 [BX2110.A57 1979]
Rachel Fulton, From Judgment to Passion: Devotion to Christ and the Virgin Mary, 800-1200 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), pp. 403, 444-58 [BT590.​C85 F85 2002]
“Meditation by Bernard on the Lamentation of the Blessed Virgin,” in Thomas H. Bestul, Texts of the Passion: Latin Devotional Literature and Medieval Society (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996), pp. 165-85 [PA8030.C47B470 1996]
“The Passion of the Lord Jesus,” in John of Caulibus, Meditations on the Life of Christ, trans. Francis X. Taney, Anne Miller, and C. Mary Stallings-Taney (Asheville, NC: Pegasus Press, 2000), pp. 236-68 [BT306.4.M4413 2000]

April 25  Sedes sapientiae
Hildegard of Bingen, Symphonia: A Critical Edition of the Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum, trans. Barbara Newman, 2nd ed. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998), pp. 110-37 [BV469.​H534S95130 1988]
Frauenlob, Marienleich, trans. Barbara Newman, in Frauenlob’s Song of Songs, pp. 2-41, with commentary, pp.  91-122, 175-218 [PT1519.F7A66 2006]
Walter of Wimborne, “Ave Virgo Mater Christi,” in The Poems of Walter of Wimborne, ed. A.G. Rigg (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1978), pp. 144-83 [B720.T7]

April 30  Mater sponsi
Elisabeth of Schönau, The Complete Works, trans. Anne L. Clark (New York: Paulist Press, 2000), pp. 46-47, 50, 58, 64-67, 77-78, 80-81, 103-5, 123-25, 209-11 [BX2350.2 .E4513 2000]
Mechthild of Magdeburg, The Flowing Light of the Godhead, trans. Frank Tobin (New York: Paulist Press, 1998), pp. 49-52, 70-75, 103, 110-11, 197-204, 258-59, 265, 291-92 [BV5091.V6 M43413 1998]
Gertrude of Helfta, The Life and Revelations of Saint Gertrude: Virgin and Abbess of the Order of St. Benedict (Westminster, Md: Christian Classics, 1983), pp. 102-5, 131-33, 177-80, 227-30, 308-13, 334-38, 368-73, 432-46, 453-58, 478-85, 546-52, 559-60 [BX4700.G473A35 1983]
Bridget of Sweden, Revelations on the Life and Passion of Our Lord and the Life of His Blessed Mother

May 2  Magistra scholastica
Conrad of Saxony, Mirror of the Blessed Virgin Mary, trans. Sr. Mary Emmauel (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1932), prologue, ch. 1-3 []
John Duns Scotus, “Was the Blessed Virgin Conceived in Original Sin,” in Four Questions on Mary, trans. Allan B. Wolter, OFM (Franciscan Institute Publications, 2000), pp. 34-75 [BT600.D86 2012]
Stephen Mossman, Marquard von Lindau and the Challenges of Religious Life in Late Medieval Germany: The Passion, the Eucharist, the Virgin Mary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 243-334 [BS500 .M67 2010]
Heiko Augustinus Oberman, The Harvest of Medieval Theology: Gabriel Biel and Late Medieval Nominalism (Durham, NC: The Labyrinth Press, 1963), pp. 281-322 [BT26.O2]


May 9  Reforming Mary
Martin Luther, Luther on Women: A Sourcebook, ed. and trans. Susan C. Karant-Nunn and Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 32-57 [BR333.3.L88 2003]
Hugh Latimer, The Works of Hugh Latimer, sometime Bishop of Worcester, martyr, 1555, ed. for the Parker Society by George Elwes Corrie, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1844-45), 1:393-95, 2:225-32 []
Paul Williams, “The English Reformers and the Blessed Virgin Mary,” in Boss, Mary: The Complete Resource, pp. 238-55 [BT610 .M37 2007]
Diarmaid MacCulloch, “Mary and Sixteenth-Century Protestants,” in The Church and Mary, ed. R.N. Swanson, Studies in Church History 39 (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2004), pp. 191-217 [BR141.S94 v. 39]

May 14  Mary in the New World
William A. Christian, Jr., Apparitions in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), pp. 26-32, 40-49, 57-72, 88-92 [BV5091.V6C55]
Louise M. Burkhart, Before Guadalupe: The Virgin Mary in Early Colonial Nahuatl Literature, Institute for Mesoamerican Studies 13 (New York: Institute for Mesoamerican Studies, 2001), pp. 9-21, 99-113 [F1221.N3 B87 2001]
“The Nican Mopohua,” in Carl Anderson and Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love (New York: Doubleday, 2009), pp. 171-83 [BT660.G8 A63 2009]

May 16  Counter-Reformation Mary
Mary of Agreda, The Mystical City of God, trans. Fiscar Marison, bk. 1, chaps. 1, 2, 6, 7; bk. 2, chap. 2; bk. 3, chaps. 1-2; bk. 4, chap. 4; bk. 5, chaps. 2-3; bk. 6, chaps. 4, 6, 8, 9, 11; bk. 7, chaps. 1-2; bk. 8, chaps. 6-8 []
Alphonsus Maria de’ Ligouri, The Glories of Mary,  2nd ed., rev. by Robert A. Coffin (New York: O’Shea, 1868), pp. 500-25 (Various Practices of Devotion in Honour of the Divine Mother) []
Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, roses nos. 1-10, 15-20, 27, 30, 41-45.

May 21  The Immaculate Conception
Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Constitution on the Immaculate Conception Ineffabilis Deus (December 8, 1854) []
Sandra L. Zimdars-Swartz, Encountering Mary: From La Salette to Medjugorje (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), pp. 25-91 [BT650.Z560 1991]
Ruth Harris, Lourdes: Body and Spirit in the Secular Age (New York: Viking, 1999), pp. 55-82 [BT653 .H37 1999]

May 23  Modern Mary
Henry Adams, Mont Saint Michel and Chartres (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986), pp. 87-105, 168-69, 183-86 [DC801.​M7515 A3 1986eb]
________, The Education of Henry Adams (New York: Modern Library, 1931), pp. 379-90 [;size=100;id=mdp.39015043154825;q1=Virgin;page=root;seq=399;num=379]
Pope Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus Defining the Dogma of the Assumption (November 1, 1950) []
Vatican II, “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church: Lumen Gentium” (1964), chapter VIII: The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God in the Mystery of Christ and the Church []
Charlene Spretnak, Missing Mary: The Queen of Heaven and Her Re-emergence in the Modern Church (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 27-54, 145-78 [BT603 .​S67 2004eb]


May 30  Postmodern Mary
Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1973), pp. 81-92 [HQ1154.D18]
Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (New York: Vintage Books, 1976), pp. xix-xxv, 333-39 [BT602.W28]
Julia Kristeva, “Stabat Mater,” in Tales of Love, trans. Leon S. Roudiez (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987), pp. 234-63 [BF575.L8K74130 1987]
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Thoughts on the Place of Marian Doctrine and Piety in Faith and Theology as a Whole,” in Mary: The Church at the Source, trans. Adrian Walker (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005), pp. 19-36 [BT613 .B43513 2005]
Sarah Jane Boss, Mary (London: Continuum, 2003), pp. 3-32 [BT613 .B67 2004]