I like to think of myself as a lover of scholarly work. Now, notice how I phrased that. I am in no way claiming to be scholarly nor even a person who actually has merited the self-proclaimed title of “lover of scholarly works.” Glancing back at the last several years lists of books actually read, the bar of my scholarship level is mediocre at best. When I saw that Ignatius Press had offered CatholicMom writers a crack at the book Rethinking Mary in the New Testament by Edward Sri, I jumped at the chance to review it.
Now, I had not previously read any of Sri’s works before this, but his reputation for sound theology precedes him. As a convert to Catholicism, I have struggled to understand Mariology; therefore, the topic was intriguing and the author was credible. Upon receiving my copy in the mail, I was even more impressed with the cover art than I anticipated I would ever be.
As the titles suggests, Sri examines Mariology through her words and words about her in the New Testament. The challenge with this is that, on the surface, her presence in the Scriptures seems miniscule. While the line- or word-count certainly is, Sri masterfully examines each passage, sometimes spending an entire chapter on a word or two in particular. Many are familiar with the idea that when studying Scriptures we truly find ourselves peeling back layer upon layer of meaning. Never have I read a book to demonstrate this truth so organically.
Sri touches on several key Marian doctrines, including her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, her assumption into heaven, and her role as Queen of Heaven, to name a few. He relies solely on the Scriptures to show not only how the magisterium of the Catholic Church came to interpret and defines these doctrines, but why these doctrines are so important to the Faith and the role each plays in Salvation History.
Sri presents each case clearly and cohesively. He address common objections and alternative interpretations in an unbiased manner before demonstrating why the traditional Catholic position is the most logical and the most theologically sound. His writing style is accessible for most readers and sound in matter of theology.
I came away from Rethinking Mary in the New Testament with a clearer idea of the hows and whys of difficult Marian doctrines, and would recommend this as a must-read for any Catholic serious about the faith, and any non-Catholic seeking a well developed understanding of Mariology.
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Copyright 2019 Amanda Torres