Mary, Mother of Martyrs: How Motherhood Became Self-Sacrifice in Early Christianity
Elkins, Kathleen Gallagher
Indiannapolis: Dog Ear, 2018 pp. xxxiv + 143. $18.95
Feminist Studies in Religion
Description: The Virgin Mary has been idealized as a self-sacrificing mother throughout Christian history, but she is not the only ancient maternal figure whose story is connected to violent loss. This book examines several ancient representations of mothers and children in contexts of sociopolitical violence, demonstrating that notions of early Christian motherhood, as today, are contextual and produced for various political, social, and ethical reasons. In each chapter, the ancient maternal figure is juxtaposed with an example of contemporary maternal activism to show that maternal self-sacrifice can be understood as strategic, varied, politically charged, and rhetorically flexible.
Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Johannine Literature, John, Revelation, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Old Testament Apocrypha, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Judaism, Literary Approaches, Ideological Critique, Feminist Approaches
Review by Alicia D. Myers
Citation: Alicia D. Myers, review of Kathleen Gallagher Elkins, Mary, Mother of Martyrs: How Motherhood Became Self-Sacrifice in Early Christianity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).
Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.