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The Oxford Handbook of Mary

The Oxford Handbook of Mary is due to be published by Oxford University Press on the 1st August 2019. It includes chapters on textual, literary, and media analysis; theology; Church history; art history; studies on devotion in a variety of forms: liturgy, hymns, homilies, prayer, pilgrimage, lived belief and practice; also cultural history; folk tradition; gender analysis; apparitions and apocalypticism.

The chapters have been contributed by a range of scholars, established names in Marian Studies, writing about Mary the mother of Jesus from within their own expertise. The group is international in scope, from the three countries of North America; various nations in Europe; Jerusalem; Taiwan; Australia. As well as those of no religious affiliation, chapters have been written by Jewish, Muslim, and Christian academics, the last group including priests from within the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican traditions. What is shared between everyone in this diverse group is a commitment to academic rigour as well as a special interest in Mary the mother of Jesus, who is known as the Theotokos, Mother of God.

The Handbook looks at both Eastern and Western perspectives and tries to correct imbalance in previous books on Mary towards the West. There is also a chapter on Mary in Islam, and on pilgrimages shared by Christian, Muslim, and Jewish adherents. Mary can be a source of theological disagreement, but the emphasis of this volume is on Mary’s rich potential for inter-faith and inter-denominational dialogue and shared experience.

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