How do we understand Mary?
The Virgin Mary is a tricky Biblical character. Some people appear to almost worship her, others don’t pay her any mind at all. Certainly Christian traditions like Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox churches blanket their churches with her image. Other Christians ask: do they forget Jesus in the process? The Bible mentions her briefly at several points but says little about how Christians today are supposed to view her.
How do we understand her? Is it possible to get to know her better, to understand better her role in salvation history? Does she have something to say to us? Is she a model of feminine genius or patriarchal oppression?
Model of feminine genius or patriarchal oppression?
I am an artist and not an apologist or theologian. Images are my business and my vocation and I have spent more than a decade meditating, responding and contemplating images of Mary in art history in an attempt to create my own contemporary response. For years I have been meditating on the images in this hymn, trying to put the words into pictures, finding that those pictures sometimes combined with other images from art history or the Bible.