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A Flesh-and-Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother

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Starting with a dark-skinned girl barely out of adolescence when she gives birth, Lesley Hazleton weaves together the many facets of Mary's existence: peasant villager, wise woman and healer, activist, mother, teacher, and yes, virgin, though in a sense we have long forgotten. She follows her through the worst any mother can experience-the excruciating death of her child-and then looks at how she transforms grief into wisdom, disaster into renewal. Strong and courageous, the Mary we see here does not merely assent to her role in history, but chooses it and lives it to the fullest.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 26, 2004 – Readers who loved the phenomenally popular fictional chronicle of Jacob's daughter Dinah in Anita Diamant's The Red Tent will find this book about Mary, the mother of Jesus, just as enthralling. Hazleton, who spent 13 years living in and reporting from Jerusalem, has clearly done her scholarly homework, displaying a solid knowledge of Jewish history, ancient religions and the various Christian sectarian movements that sprang up after Jesus' death. She also knows how to write a page-turner, using vivid vocabulary and attention to detail to keep the audience on edge. Her Jesus is akin to the peasant agitator described by many contemporary liberal biblical scholars, and her Mary is a healer, a villager whose birthright is Jewish resistance against Roman rule. This Mary sees no conflict between worshipping the virgin goddess Isis and the Jewish Yahweh. But Hazleton's willingness to move from the bare-boned New Testament references to her own feminist and anti-fundamentalist brand of speculation and assumption may be a real problem for readers who expect anything like a traditional biography. Others may disagree with her assertion that "a degree of polytheism is built into Catholicism in the idea of the Holy Trinity, for example, and in the vast panoply of saints to whom believers pray." While this book probably won't capture the hearts of theologically conservative readers, it certainly should have appeal for those tantalized and often frustrated by the great gaps of biographical detail in the New Testament accounts.

Customer Reviews

Mary by Lesley Hazelton

Clarity, comforting the sharper edges of ignorance, makes this effort joyful.

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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Religion & Spirituality
  • Published: Dec 01, 2008
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Seller: INscribe Digital
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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