The Quest for the Historical Mary

Mary in Early Christian Faith and Devotionby stephen j. shoemaker yale, 304 pages, $28 The Virgin Mary is a shibboleth. Whatever one thinks of Jesus, it is impossible to be neutral about her place in Christian doctrine and devotion. Either Mary is essential to the faith as the Mother of God, or . . . . Continue Reading »

Mary at Baptism?

On an escarpment high above the Euphrates River in eastern Syria sit the ruins of Dura-Europos, one of the most important archeological finds of the twentieth century. Founded in 303 BC by the Seleucid successors of Alexander the Great, this ancient caravan city of some 8,000 to 10,000 people was . . . . Continue Reading »

Mary, Mother of All

My children shower me with affection, so I have no real reason to go fishing for more love. But I do it anyway. The problem is, when I ask if they love Mommy or Daddy more, they always insist that they love us equally. Sometimes I load the question the way political pollsters do: “Daddy has been . . . . Continue Reading »