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Mary: A Flesh-And-Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother

Mary: A Flesh-And-Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Arguably the most influential of all women throughout history, Mary, the Virgin Mother is also, paradoxically, the least known. In this unprecedented brilliantly wrought biography, Mary comes believably to life.

We are so used to the legendary image of the Madonna that the very idea of her as a real person sets the eyes alight. Starting with the dark-skinned, hard-muscled girl barely out of adolescence when she gave 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 source of her son's powers of healing and wisdom, the Mary we see here did not merely assent to her role in history, but actively chose it, and lived it to the fullest.

As a former psychologist and political reporter with deep roots in both Judaism and Catholicism, Hazleton has drawn on years of Middle East experience as well as on anthropology, history, theology, and above all, empathy to reconstruct Mary's life. The woman she discovers is neither demystified nor diminished, but on the contrary, all the more meaningful and admirable. By honoring her reality, Hazleton has given her back to herself-and to us.

Lesley Hazleton is the award-winning author of eight books, including Jerusalem, Jerusalem and Where Mountains Roar. Her work has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Harper's, Parade, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Mirabella, and The Nation. She lived in and reported from Jerusalem for thirteen years, and now lives in Seattle.

Who was Mary? The most famous woman in the world is usually depicted as a blank, iconic figure rather than the extraordinary person she must have been. Beginning with a vision of a dark-skinned girl barely out of adolescence when she gives birth, Lesley Hazleton draws a fierce and inspiring portrait from Mary's myriad identities: peasant villager, wise woman and healer, activist, mother, teacher, and yes, virgin, though in a sense we have long forgotten. We see how she becomes pregnant, how she raises her son to inspire and to lead, and how she survives the worst any mother can experience--the excruciating death of her child. Above all, as Jesus is buried and resurrected, we gain new insight into the depth of Mary's wisdom as she transforms grief into action, and disaster into renewal.

A former psychologist and political reporter with deep roots in both Judaism and Catholicism, Hazleton has drawn on years of research and experience in the Middle East, as well as on anthropology, history, and theology. The Mary who emerges is neither demystified nor diminished. On the contrary, it is her very humanity that makes this such a powerful and universal story, one in which women everywhere will recognize themselves.

This brilliant biography radically reenvisions the life of Mary, restoring her to us as both a real woman and a powerful spiritual leader.

Drawing on a wide range of sources including the sometimes suppressed history of the feminine in ancient religions, Hazleton paints a convincing picture of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Both scholars and nonspecialists are bound to enjoy this highly readable intellectual and spiritual treat.--Harvey Cox, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard University, and author of Common Prayers

At last A real, flesh-and-blood Mary. Recent scholarship about Jesus situating him in the social and political milieu of first-century Palestine now extends to his mother, Mary. Far from robbing us of faith, this grounding of Mary's life as a brown-skinned, struggling peasant girl invites us deeper into the sheer, paradoxical mystery of faith.--Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking

Drawing on a wide range of sources including the sometimes suppressed history of the feminine in ancient religions, Hazleton paints a convincing picture of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Both scholars and nonspecialists are bound to enjoy this highly readable intellectual and spiritual treat.--Harvey Cox, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard University, and author of Common Prayers

With all the biographies of Jesus, we finally have a study of the most important person in his life: his mother, Mary. Lesley Hazelton gives us a rich, provocative, suggestive, and enormously insightful exploration of one of the most influential yet neglected women in world history.--Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College

By far the most exciting treatment of Mary I have ever encountered. Hazleton's historical and literary imagining is deeply grounded in thorough research into the conditions of life in ancient Galilee and Judea. She summons her most powerful prose for treatment of the most sensitive issues--Mary's impregnation and her experience of her son's gruesome death by crucifixion--and brings her trauma and struggles to life like no other recent writer.--Richard A. Horsley, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion, University of Massachusetts, Boston, and author of Jesus and Empire

Here is the Mary we've been searching for, the strong, courageous, wise

lochwoman we always knew had to exist. Lesley Hazleton's riveting biography will resonate deeply with contemporary women worldwide. Powerful and empowering, inspired and inspiring, this is a book that will move you to tears.--Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth, cofounder of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership

With so many prayers, hopes, and legends surrounding the figure of Mary, mother of Jesus, is it even possible to come anywhere near the flesh-and-blood woman living in first-century Palestine? Hazelton not only helps readers to see

Review:

"This Mary isn't the blue-robed icon painted by Fra Angelico or the young mother carved by Michelangelo, but throughout it all, Maryam remains full of grace. Sure to kick up some biblical dust." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

Arguably the most influential of all women throughout history, Mary, the Virgin Mother is also, paradoxically, the least known. In this unprecedented brilliantly wrought biography, Mary comes believably to life.

We are so used to the legendary image of the Madonna that the very idea of her as a real person sets the eyes alight. Starting with the dark-skinned, hard-muscled girl barely out of adolescence when she gave 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 source of her son's powers of healing and wisdom, the Mary we see here did not merely assent to her role in history, but actively chose it, and lived it to the fullest.

As a former psychologist and political reporter with deep roots in both Judaism and Catholicism, Hazleton has drawn on years of Middle East experience as well as on anthropology, history, theology, and above all, empathy to reconstruct Mary's life. The woman she discovers is neither demystified nor diminished, but on the contrary, all the more meaningful and admirable. By honoring her reality, Hazleton has given her back to herself-and to us.

About the Author

Lesley Hazleton is the award-winning author of eight books, including Jerusalem, Jerusalem and Where Mountains Roar. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, Harper's, Parade, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Mirabella, and The Nation. She lived in and reported from Jerusalem for thirteen years, and now lives in Seattle.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582342368
Subtitle:
A Flesh-and-Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Author:
Hazleton, Lesley
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Religious
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Mary
Subject:
General Religion
Edition Number:
1st U.S. ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
80
Publication Date:
20040304
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

Biography » Women
Religion » Christianity » Mariology
Religion » Western Religions » Mary

Mary: A Flesh-And-Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother
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Product details 288 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582342368 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This Mary isn't the blue-robed icon painted by Fra Angelico or the young mother carved by Michelangelo, but throughout it all, Maryam remains full of grace. Sure to kick up some biblical dust."
"Synopsis" by ,
Arguably the most influential of all women throughout history, Mary, the Virgin Mother is also, paradoxically, the least known. In this unprecedented brilliantly wrought biography, Mary comes believably to life.

We are so used to the legendary image of the Madonna that the very idea of her as a real person sets the eyes alight. Starting with the dark-skinned, hard-muscled girl barely out of adolescence when she gave 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 source of her son's powers of healing and wisdom, the Mary we see here did not merely assent to her role in history, but actively chose it, and lived it to the fullest.

As a former psychologist and political reporter with deep roots in both Judaism and Catholicism, Hazleton has drawn on years of Middle East experience as well as on anthropology, history, theology, and above all, empathy to reconstruct Mary's life. The woman she discovers is neither demystified nor diminished, but on the contrary, all the more meaningful and admirable. By honoring her reality, Hazleton has given her back to herself-and to us.

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