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Grace is Not Faceless focuses on Mary, mother of Jesus: her presentation in Scripture and reception throughout church history, with careful attention to the poetry of Isaiah and that of subsequent writers. 

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Mary, Mother of Jesus, has been the focus of much piety and theology down the centuries, and whatever it is she represents has been and remains central to the vitality of Christianity in many parts of the world. 

 

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Seventeen essays explore how the biblical Miriam, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary of Bethany, and Mary Magdalene were portrayed in the early Christian era, also touching on Jewish and Muslim interpretations.

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Like Mary the Mother of Jesus, Christian men and women are called to bring Christ to the world.

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This interdisciplinary volume of text and art offers new insights into various unsolved mysteries associated with Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and Miriam the sister of Moses.

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I recently saw a meme of the Virgin Mary with the words “well-behaved women make history” on it. The meme was a pushback on the pithy saying, “well-behaved women rarely make history.” 

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We have put you on a pedestal,
scattered petals at your marble feet.
Entombed now in stone,
once their warm flesh danced in Cana

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In churches where men are welcomed as priests and leaders simply because they share the male body of Jesus and the twelve male disciples, we too easily assume that women’s bodies represent, by contrast, an inferiority. 

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One Sunday, about a year ago, I was visiting a new church. It was December, and the pastor was preaching about Mary. I was surprised by how well he positioned Mary as an equal to the congregation—neither meek nor superhuman.

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God called Mary to something much greater than her social location. I find it comforting to note that she was called “highly favored” before she said yes to God. It wasn’t her obedience that made her highly favored. 

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