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There Is No Rose

There Is No Rose: The Mariology of the Catholic Church

Aidan Nichols
Copyright Date: 2015
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  • Book Info
    There Is No Rose
    Book Description:

    Mary continues to be a source of theological interest and concern for Catholics and Protestants alike. For Catholics, Mariology was codified in a set of dogmas over the centuries; yet many Catholics remain unaware of the biblical, historical, and theological matrix that gave rise to the magisterial teaching. Protestants, with some exceptions, remain skeptical of Marianism in Catholic theology, viewing such as intrusions upon biblical doctrine and faith or unnecessary accretions threatening of sound Christian theology. Aidan Nichols, OP, attempts to address this “puzzlement” of Mary. Working through the biblical, patristic, and medieval sources, Nichols introduces readers to the robust scriptural and theological bases for the Church’s celebration of Mary in its doctrine and liturgy, alongside the work of the Councils and the magisterium, to argue for the crucial relevance of Mary in the theological articulation of the gospel, the celebration and practice of the liturgy, and the sacramental life of the Church. The present study aims to contribute to the revival of a more full-blooded Marian teaching and attempts to take the path set by ressourcement theology in recovering the robust voice of witness to Mary.

    eISBN: 978-1-4514-9416-7
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    Aidan Nichols
  4. 1 The Blessed Virgin Mary in the New Testament
    (pp. 1-22)

    What is my approach in this study? I would call it the classic approach of Catholic theology, the methodology of which can be laid out in three steps—an account of which will shortly follow. I draw here on the description of theological method I offered a quarter of a century ago in my studyThe Shape of Catholic Theology, a work which has been found both representative and even helpful by those mandated to teach such theology in a wide range of institutions, especially in the United States of America.¹ So I do not think that in this “methodological...

  5. 2 The Divine Motherhood
    (pp. 23-44)

    In the context of a study of Mariology, the referent of the phrase “the divine motherhood” is presumably obvious. The phrase itself, however, used absolutely in this way, appears to be a creation of the seventeenth century when it emerges, often, as the title of Scholastic tractates on our Lady.

    High medieval Scholasticism had dealt with Marian questions incidentally, almost as an aside, in the course of exploring the being and work of the Word incarnate. By contrast, Baroque Scholasticism by a change in literary form treats Mariology as a subject in its own right.¹ Its typical perspective on the...

  6. 3 The Immaculate Conception
    (pp. 45-66)

    In the first chapter, I said that the Greek adjective, formed from a verb, by which the Lukan angel greets Mary at the Annunciation, is best translated, if we are to give the root verb its full causal force, by the paraphrase, “You who have been transformed by grace.” And I suggested that this feature of St. Luke’s infancy gospel was already a pointer to the immaculate conception. “A pointer.” That term was deliberately a modest one. For the question at once arises, What is the character of this transformation by grace, and at what moment or moments was it...

  7. 4 The Co-redemptrix
    (pp. 67-88)

    I mentioned in my opening chapter, à propos of Mary’s standing by the cross in the Gospel according to St. John, that theologies of Marian co-redemption come in two varieties: which we can term “minimalist’ and “maximalist.” The first kind, the minimalist one, which, leaving aside the disputed question of the word “coredemptrix,” is non-controversial, locates Mary’s contribution to the redemption in her response to Gabriel at the Annunciation—drawing, then, for its scriptural basis on the Lucan infancy gospel (Luke 1:26–38). The second kind of theology of co-redemption, the maximalist version, is the trickier one. While not the...

  8. 5 The Assumption
    (pp. 89-110)

    A helpful way into the topic, I find, is to formulate the following question: In what sense does the dogma of the assumption rest on evidence? In the years of build-up to the proclamation of the dogma in 1950, Catholic theologians differed about this question in interesting ways. We might do worse than to begin from here.

    On one influential account, the assumption doctrine could be dogmatized—in other words, defined as a truth of faith which all the faithful are obliged to hold—simply because in a certain way it is an inference from other truths in the doctrinal...

  9. 6 Mediatrix of Graces
    (pp. 111-130)

    I call this chapter “Mediatrix of Graces,” not “Mediatrix ofallGraces,” which is the more usual form of this Marian title: Why I do so should eventually become apparent.

    In the fourth chapter, on the co-redemption, I explained how it is customary to distinguish between Mary’s cooperation in the objective redemption and her associated role in subjective redemption. That is a distinction between what she contributed to the putting in place of the divine redemptive act whose chief moments are the incarnation and the atonement—the objective redemption, and the part she plays in communicating the fruits of that...

  10. 7 Our Lady and the Church
    (pp. 131-150)

    We saw in the fifth chapter how, among Neo-Scholastics, the background to the dogmatization of the assumption lay in heavy reliance on the ability of dogmatic theology to deduce, or at least infer, the various Marian privileges from each other. This was possible because all of these privileges—from divine motherhood and perpetual virginity through immaculate conception and coredemption to assumption—could be regarded as interlinked by ties of either necessity (hence “deduce”) or fittingness,convenientia(hence “infer”). I suggested that, in some cases at least, such Neo-Scholastic theologians were not especially interested in historical facts, the close examination of...

  11. 8 An Excursus on Eastern Orthodox Theology and Marian Art
    (pp. 151-172)

    With the very minor exceptions of some Western rite Orthodox communities in France and the United States of America, Orthodoxy uses the Byzantine liturgy for its worship, and that liturgy, and its accompanying iconography, plays a relatively much larger role in Orthodox Mariology than does the equivalent in Catholic Marian thought.¹ Moreover, Orthodox Mariology is much less likely than Catholic to take the form of systematically focused treatises on the Mother of the Lord, a reflection of the weaker influence of Scholasticism in late medieval Byzantium and early modern and modern (prerevolutionary) Russia. The influence of that highly organized approach...

  12. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 173-182)
  13. Index of Names
    (pp. 183-187)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 188-188)