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Saint John the Evangelist Seminary

 

ST 518:  Mariology (2CH)
Course Syllabus

 

Instructor TBA

 

Course Description:

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the development of Marian beliefs, devotions, practices, and representations.  Students will acquire knowledge about the genesis, changes, and continuities of Marian devotions and traditions.  Students will learn to analyze and synthesize visual materials, written texts, and material culture.  The course will present a range of primary and secondary sources (art, film, liturgy, literature, theology, and modern material culture) that students will interpret and evaluate.  The course objectives are to help students practice and acquire analytical and argumentative skills (to make and defend a point) and to write accurately, clearly, and persuasively using data pertaining to the cult of the Virgin Mary.  Students will understand how people venerated Mary through the ages as they apply strategies of interpretation, comprehension, analysis, and assessment.  Students will synthesize and evaluate the transformations of Mariology within the historical context of four paradigmatic transformations: Jewish Apocalyptic, Hellenistic, Catholicism, and global.  Students will engage how believers are active in their faith in Mary over time and the theological traditions shaping Marian practices and devotions.  Students will investigate the place and role of women in the Christian world, from Late Antiquity to the present day in order to understand the patterns and traditions of women’s participation in Mariology and their religious vocations within formal structures such as patriarchy and misogynist mechanisms.

 

Required Texts:

1) Any New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Revised Standard, or New International Version

2) Luigi Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin in Patristic Thought, trans.             Thomas Buffer (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999);

3) Luigi Gambero, Mary in the Middle Ages: The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Thought of Medieval Latin             Theologians, trans. Thomas Buffer (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000)

4)  Richard Wunderli, Peasant Fires: The Drummer of Niklashausen

 

Exams:

There will be a midterm worth 100 points and a final also worth 100 points.  The exam will consist in short essays questions and multiple-choice questions. The multiple-choice questions will test the student knowledge acquisition and comprehension, and the essays will examine student application, analysis, and assessment of the course material, which consists in lectures, assigned readings and websites listed in the weekly schedule.

 

Written Assignment:

Students will interpret evidence related to the Virgin Mary.  Before you begin to write, please discuss with me a topic and a set of documents, films, physical data, groups and individuals that interests you.  You may wish to study Marian shrines and home altars, and you may even interview individuals who are Marian believers.  It is very important that you first establish a reasonable thesis for your paper as well as norms for appropriate evidence.

 

You must analyze a primary source provided in the course syllabus. This assignment is not a research paper, but it does require a critical interpretation and assessment of one or a handful of original sources covered in this course.  Your analysis must be double-spaced, one-inch margins, ten to fifteen pages long, ten point Verdana font.  Your thesis  must articulate an original point. 

 

In your paper, please follow these points:

 

1) A clear and cogent thesis based on evidence from a primary source. Your thesis statement, which must be the first paragraph of the paper, must include a map detailing the range of topic sentences.


2) Topic sentences introducing each paragraph. Each paragraph must contain an analysis of an example from a primary source. The topic sentence establishes your “take” or claim. You must illustrate your claim with evidence that is clearly described and documented.


3) A conclusion that contains a synthesis and assessment of your of thesis and a formulation of your original concept.

 

 

 

COURSE SCHEDULE AND OUTLINE:

 

Lesson 1: Introduction to Course
Reading: “The Virgin Mary” in Catholic Encyclopedia:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15464b.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15459a.htm
Reading hint:
                What is the relation between the veneration of Mary and the worship of Jesus?


Website: For Christian sources, go to Christian Classics Library http://www.ccel.org
For Bible resources and translations, go the Bible website http://www.bible.org


Discussion: Course Goals and Objectives
Question for the Day: Why are you taking this class and what do you expect to gain from it?

 

Lesson 2: Methodology and Critical Thinking
Reading: Deuteronomy in Bible (Remember use Revised Standard or NIV)
Reading hints:
                 Formulate a claim based on your interpretation of Deuteronomy 22
                 How are women depicted in this text?
                 Why is virginity important in this culture and at this time?


Website Religious Studies Web Guide  http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~lipton/


Discussion: Approaching believers and their beliefs regarding the Virgin Mary
Question for the Day: Formulate a claim based on your interpretation of Deuteronomy 22

 

Lesson 3:  Mariology

Reading: Genesis in Bible

              Mary and the Fathers, pp. 27-32 (Gambero, 1999)

              The Protevangelium of James

              http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-08/anf08-67.htm#P5880_1717488

              http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/infancyjames.html

                  Reading hints:

                                    Describe and assess the issue of gender in Genesis 1-5

                                    What are the positive elements of female gender in Genesis?

                                    What is the role of Mary in the writings of Ignatius of Antioch?

                                    What elements require the existence of a matriarchy?

                                    Why is virginity important in the Protoevangelium?

 

Website Hunt:  http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~jtreat/rs/resources.html  

                     Internet Resources for the Study of Judaism and Christianity.

                      

Discussion:  Gender and Patriarchy

Question for the Day:  Describe and assess the issue of gender in Genesis 1-5.  How are women characterized and what are the assumptions that determine the function of women?  Note the articulation of patriarchy and the way it provided moral prescriptives.

 

 

Lesson 4:   Mary as a Jewish Mother

Reading:       Mark and Luke in Bible

                       Mary and the Fathers, pp. 33-42 (Gambero, 1999)

                       Reading hints:

                         Compare and contrast how the canonical gospels depict Mary

                         How do the gospels differ regarding the depiction of Mary and the nativity of Christ?

 

Website:         Biblical sources on the web:

                   http://www.earlychristianwritings.com

 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=MARK%201

 

Discussion: Gender, Resistance and Patriarchy

 

Film: The Passion of Christ (Mel Gibson, 2002)     

                        Screening hint:

                        Compare the emotional difference between males and females in the film.

 

Question for the Day: Compare and contrast how the canonical gospels depict Mary.

 

 

Lesson 5: Mary of the Gospels

Reading:    Matthew and John in Bible

                  Mary and the Fathers, pp. 43-68, 99-107, 171-180, 216-230 (Gambero 1999)                   

                        Reading hints:

                                    How was Mary transformed by the church fathers?

                                    What is the role of Jesus’ family in Mark

                                    What is the nature of family according to Melito of Sardis?

 

Website:  Dating the New Testament:

                 http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/texts/manuscripts.html

 

Discussion: Family Values

 

Question for the Day:   How was the Virgin Mary transformed by the church fathers?  What was their agenda?

 

 

Lesson 6The Patristic Mary

Reading:    Mary and the Fathers, pp. 43-68, 99-107, 171-180, 216-230 (Gambero 1999)                   

                        Theoretical Reading hints:

                                    How was Mary transformed by the church fathers?

                                    What is the role of Jesus’ family in Mark

                                    What is the nature of family according to Melito of Sardis?

 

Website:    Dating the New Testament:

                   http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/texts/manuscripts.html

 

Discussion: The Hellenistic Ecumenical Paradigm: The Victory of Patriarchy

 

 

Lesson 7: The Gnostic Virgin

 

Reading:    The Gospel of Mary  http://www.gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm

                   The Protoevangelium of  James          http://www.gospels.net/translations/infancyjamestranslation.html

                The Infancy Gospel of Thomas

                (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/infancythomas-a-mrjames.html)

                        Reading hints:

                                    What are the gospel differences regarding who Jesus is?

                                    Characterize the conflict between Mary and the apostles in the gospel of Mary.

 

Website:     Internet Medieval Sourcebook http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html

                        Searching hints:

                                    Brouse “Sex and Gender” link

 

Screening:   I, the Worst of All (María Luisa Bemberg, 1990)

                        Screening hints:

                                    What do women do that is threatening to men?

                                    Assess the difference between religious and political authorities?

                                    Consider the dangers of female sexuality to patriarchal society. 

 

Discussion:  The Marginalization of Women

 


Question for the Day:  In I, the Worst of All, analyze the conflict between Sor Juana and the male figures of authority.  Compare and contrast the ways in which powerful women in the film and in the Gnostic gospels assert their authority. What is the nature of authority used by female protagonists and do such women formulate their own agency?

 

 


 

Lesson 8:  The Byzantine Virgin

Reading:     The Council of Ephesus (431)

                 For Orthodox positions see

                        http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05491a.htm and

                        http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-14/TOC.htm

                        For heterodox articulations, see

                        http://www.piar.hu/councils/ecum03.htm#The%20judgment%20against%20Nestorius or

                        http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/ephesus.html

                     Mary and the Fathers, pp. 233-248, 302-309, 325-337, 373-378 (Gambero, 1999)

                      Reading hints:

                      Recognize the diverse patristic perspectives on the Virgin Mary

                      Why was it important for church authorities to formulate the thesis of the “Mother of God"                       Analyze Marian formulations by the church fathers and then compare how the Theotokos                       icons represent theological arguments

 

Website:         Images of the Mother of God

                                    http://www.udayton.edu/mary/resources/icon.html

                                    http://www.iconsexplained.com/iec/iec_icons_eleousa.htm

                                    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/byzantium/images.html

                          Assess the Byzantine icons of the Virgin Mary in terms of the use of the mother figure.  

                     What is the political use of the image of the Theotokos? 

 

Discussion:  The Formation of the Latin Paradigm

 

Question for the Day:  Analyze Marian formulations by the church fathers and then compare how Theotokos icons represent theological arguments.  Try to connect the visual with texts, seeking to clarify  relationships as well as differences.

 

 

Lesson 9:  The Frankish Virgin

Reading:    Mary and the Fathers, pp. 352-358, 379-380, 400-409 (Gambero, 1999)

               Mary in the Middle Ages, pp. 51-87 (Gambero, 2000)

                      Reading hint:

                                 Note the differences between the Frankish Virgin and the Greek Mary.

                                 What are qualities of the European Virgin?

                                        How did the Latin West represent and characterize the Virgin Mary?

 

Website:       Sources on the Carolingians  http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook1h.html

 

Discussion:  The Carolingian Renaissance: Mary From East to West

 

Question for the Day?  How did the Latin West represent and characterize the Virgin Mary?  Establish the Byzantine and Greek position and mark the transition.

 

 

Mid-Term Exam

 

 

Lesson 10:  Marian Shrines

Reading:       Apparitions in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain, Introduction and Chapter One / William                      A. Christian, Jr. (http://libro.uca.edu/christian/apparitions.htm)

                        Reading hint: 

                                    Why would villagers seek help from the Virgin Mary and the saints?

                                    Describe the process by which Spanish authorities legitimize Marian Shrines. 

                                    Consider why authorities would sanction and approve religious events. 

 

Website:         Visual and descriptive sources on Marian shrines:                                                                              http://www.udayton.edu/mary/infomenu.html#shrines

                    A list of Marian apparitions:

                    http://www.udayton.edu/mary/resources/aprindex.html

 

Film:  Song of Bernadette (Henry King, 1943)

                        Screening hints:

                                    How are miracles understood by believers?

                                    What is the connection between misfortune and hope-faith?

                                    You do bad things happen to good people?

                                    How do good people deal with tragedy?

 

Discussion:  The Heavenly and Earthly Body of Mary

 

Question for the Day:  Describe the process by which Spanish authorities legitimize Marian shrines.  Consider why authorities would sanction and approve such religious events.  How are Marian apparitions not part of the legitimization process?  Relying on unofficial Marian apparitions, clarify the procedures that validate,” according to the believer, the Virgin’s appearance on earth.

 

 

Lesson 11:  The Gothic Virgin

Reading:      Popular medieval tales: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/tales-virgin.html

                   Mary in the Middle Ages, pp. 109-116, 124-141, 185-191 (Gambero, 2000)

                        Reading hints:

                                    What are some elements of courtly love regarding Marian devotions?

                                    How do theologians “feel” about Mary?

                                    Compare Marian theology and medieval representations of the Virgin.

                                    Look for emotional differences

 

Website:       Search in Web Gallery of Art (http://www.wga.hu/index1.html),

                  entering the artist, ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO, and select these panels, frescoes and drawings:

                                    “The Virgin Cardiotissa” “The Crucifixion” and “Death of the Virgin”

                  Then enter the artist GIOTTO and select these frescoes:

                                    Life of Virgin and Scenes from the New Testament “Lamentations”

 

Discussion:  The Art of the Puissant Queen in Heaven

 

Question for the Day:  Compare Marian theology and medieval representations of the Virgin

 

 

Lesson 12:  The Renaissance Virgin

Reading:   Richard Wunderli, Peasant Fires: The Drummer of Niklashausen

                     Reading hint:

                     How and why do political authorities prosecute “incorrect” Marian devotions?

 

Website:          Search Gallery of Art (http://www.wga.hu/index1.html)

                        Enter artist Masaccio, and select his “Crucifixion” panel;

                        Enter Michelangelo, and select “Pietà” sculpture;

                        Enter Rafaello, and select “The Crowning of the Virgin” “The Annunciation”

                        “Madonna and Child Enthroned” and “Entombment”;

                        Enter Tiziano, and select “The Assumption of the Virgin” “The Annunciation”

                        “Mater Dolorosa” and “Pietà”  

                        Explain the emotional nature of Renaissance art, distinguishing the range of                    feelings that artists seek to provoke in the viewer.

 

Discussion:  The problem of heresy and state prosecution of heretics

 

Question for the Day:  Explain the emotional nature of Renaissance art, distinguishing the range of feelings that the artists seek to provoke in the viewer.

 

 

Lesson 13:      The Virgin of the Catholic Reformation

Reading:         Elizabeth Lehfeldt “Ruling Sexuality: The Political Legitimacy of Isabel of Castile,”

                     Renaissance Quarterly 53/1 (2000), 31-56

                     Abigail Dyer, “Law, Sex, and Culture in 17th-Century Spain” Sixteenth Century Journal 35/2                      (Summer 2003), 439-455

                     Christiane Klapisch-Zuber “Zacharias, or the Ousted Father: Nuptial Rites in Tuscany

                     between Giotto and the Council of Trent,” in Women, Family and Ritual in Renaissance Italy                      (Chicago, 1987), pp. 178-212
 

                     Reading hint:

                     How do people use the virgin for political purposes and personal reasons?

                     How do church authorities use religion, the sacrament of marriage, and Marian ethics (i.e.,                      the Marriage of the Virgin” to edify and to control? 

  

Website:          Search Gallery of Art (http://www.wga.hu/index1.html)

                          Enter artist Velázquez, “The Immaculate Conception,” “The Adoration of the Magi,” and

                     “The Coronation of the Virgin”

                        Art hint:

                                    Consider the relationships between the object of worship/veneration and the                                     subjectivity of represented figures.

 

Discussion:      The Development of the Virgin as a model for wives and mothers

 

Question for the Day:   Do religious beliefs require scientific data and historical evidence?  What is the material basis of their existence?

 

 

Critical Paper: The critical paper due as an email attachment to instructor.

 

 

Lesson 14: The Virgin of Guadalupe

Readings:

Carla Rahn Phillips, “Visualizing Imperium: The Virgin of the Seafarers and Spain’s Self-Image in the Early Sixteenth Century,” Renaissance Quarterly 58/3 (Fall 2005), pp. 815-856.

 

JSTOR Article, William Taylor, “The Virgin of Guadalupe in New Spain: An Inquiry into the Social History of Marian Devotion” American Ethnologist 14 (1987): 9-25

http://www.jstor.org/view/00940496/ap020053/02a00020/0

 

JSTOR Article: Eric Wolf, “The Virgin of Guadalupe: A Mexican National Symbol,” The Journal of American Folklore 71 (1958): 34-38.
Scholarly reviews of important book of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexican Phoenix. Our Lady of Guadalupe: Image and Tradition, 1531-2000 (D. A. Brading, 2001):
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/hispanic_american_historical_review/v082/82.2taylor.html
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/catholic_historical_review/v087/87.4poole.html
Reading hint: What is the historical evidence for the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe?
                  How did Spanish artists and authorities use the Virgin to legitimize its colonial empire?

 

Website:    The Virgin of Guadalupe webpage (http://www.sancta.org/)

 

Discussion:  The Conquest of Mexico, Mestizaje, and Contemporary Latino Identity

 

Question for the Day:  What is the historical evidence for the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and how did the Spanish transport and transform the Virgin of the Seafarers and other saints that became important in the Spanish American colonies?

 

 

Lesson 15:  The Post-Modern Virgin

Discussion:  Who is Mary today?

 

Website:         Modern Catholic Position of the Virgin:

                      http://www.udayton.edu/mary/aboutmary2.html

 

 

Final Exam

 

 

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