The Virgin Mary, Monotheism and Sacrifice
The Virgin Mary plays a major - although often paradoxical - role in the incarnation and crucifixion and in the ecclesiastical structure of Christianity. This role is shaped by sacrifice as understood in terms of the religious patrimony of ancient Israel and as refigured in the new Christian and Islamic paradigms arising from it. Here the offering up of a son is a frequently occurring motif, one in which fathers and mothers play an emotionally fraught, anthropologically conditioned and theologically significant role. Like such figures as Abraham and Sarah in the Hebrew Bible, Mary's relationship to sacrifice has profound implications not only for Christian theology, but for later developments in monotheism, including the role of women and gender in creating and sustaining religious identities, the emergence of competing definitions of orthodoxy, and the institution in some traditions of a masculine priesthood and religious hierarchy.
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Abdullah Yusuf Ali Abraham afﬁrm Biblical binding of Isaac biological birth blessing blood Bruce Chilton child childbirth Christ Christian church conception conﬂict context covenant cruciﬁxion cult cultic cultural death deﬁne discourse of sacriﬁce divine earthly economy Edmund Leach established Eucharist expiatory faith father fatherhood ﬁgure ﬁgure of Mary ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁrstborn ﬂesh function gender genealogy Genesis God’s gospel of John Hammoudi Hebrew Bible Hebrews heir Holy human identity Isaac Islam Israel Jesus Jesus’s John John’s gospel kinship Laurentin line of descent lineage literal Lord Louis Massignon Luke Marian Mary’s role masculine maternal Matthew mediation Melchizedek messianic monotheisms mother motherhood motif narrative offers ofﬁcial patriline patrimony Press priest priesthood priestly Proclus prophetic Protoevangelion Qur’an reﬂection relationship religious Revelation ritual sacriﬁce sacriﬁcial discourse Sarah seen sense signiﬁcant son’s speciﬁc spiritual legacy story symbolic temple Testament theological Timothy Winter tradition transmission understanding victim Virgin women Zechariah