Mary the Mother of God and ecclesiology : some Orthodox reflections

It is significant that the notion of Virgin Mother occurs in the early centuries in two separate contexts: Mary as Virgin Mother is part of the typological parallelism of Eve and Mary; the Church as Virgin Mother is also found more or less contemporaneously. There is, however, no apparent link betwe...

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Main Author: Louth, Andrew 1944- (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language: English
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Published: [2018]
In: International journal for the study of the Christian church
Year: 2018, Volume: 18, Issue: 2/3, Pages: 132-145
Further subjects: B the "in-between"
B mother
B the Church
B Sergii Bulgakov
B virgin
B Paul Evdokimov
B creation
B sophiology
B Mary
B Vladimir Lossky
Online Access: doi
Summary: It is significant that the notion of Virgin Mother occurs in the early centuries in two separate contexts: Mary as Virgin Mother is part of the typological parallelism of Eve and Mary; the Church as Virgin Mother is also found more or less contemporaneously. There is, however, no apparent link between these themes until the end of the fourth century, when texts hitherto interpreted of the Church (notably Psalm 44) begin to be applied to Mary, thus bringing the two traditions together. This early reflection provides a fruitful background to understanding the place of Mary in modern Orthodox ecclesiology. Bulgakov's reflection on Mary is deeply bound up with his sophiology; for Sophia, the Wisdom of God, Mary, the Mother of God, and indeed the Church inhabit what one might call an "in-between" realm, linking the uncreated God with his creation. Another ecclesiological theme involving Mary occurs in connection with the question: Who is the Person of the Church, as Bride and Virgin Mother? Is this just a personification, or is it more? All the Orthodox theologians discussed in this article, Bulgakov, Lossky and Evdokimov, affirm that the answer to the question "Who is the Church?" is in fact "Mary".
ISSN: 1747-0234
DOI: 10.1080/1474225X.2018.1522047
Persistent identifiers: DOI "10.1080/1474225X.2018.1522047"