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BOOK REVIEWS 703 tention to the psychological factors that are part and parcel of ritual celebration and human, as well as Christian, identity. A greater familiarity with foreign language sources, especially on this latter point, would have made the book more cogent and complete. The academic theological community is still searching for ever more adequate methodologies for ritual studies. The fact that the American Academy of Religion and the North American Academy of Liturgy have ongoing study groups concerned with this topic is a very encouraging sign. Harper is to be thanked for publishing this book as one atĀ· tempt to articulate how ritual studies are not for the theorist only. As Driver repeatedly asserts, the study of ritual is essential for human survival and Christian vitality. The Catholic University of America Washington, D.C. KEVIN w. IRWIN Mary For AU Christians. By JOHN MACQUARRIE. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1991. Pp. xiii + 160. In the preface, John Macquarrie expresses his purpose for writing this collection of papers very clearly and concisely: "... the ecumenical spirit of recent years has been encouraging Christians to try to understand and appreciate one another's traditions better, so this book is ' for all Christians ' and is written in the hope that they may find in Mary resources for reconciliation rather than conflict." Fittingly enough most of the chapters of this book were originally papers given by Macquarrie to members of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ESBVM) to which he has belonged since 1970, only a few years following its foundation in England. The foreword to this book by Dom Alberic Stacpoole, one of its contemporary leaders, provides a helpful description of the origin, growth, and ecumenical effectiveness of ESBVM which gives the reader the proper context for the spirit and doctrinal contents of the book. Part Two, " An Ecumenical Office of Mary -the Mother of Jesus" and several supplementary appendices for options in reciting this Office, shows that ESBVM is very much motivated by devotional practices as well as doctrinal dialogues. "God and the Feminine," the initial essay, was originally a paper delivered by Macquarrie at ESBVM's Third International Ecumenical Congress held at Birmingham during Easter Week 1975. It is a masterpiece of theological precision and a balanced interpretation concerning an issue which is all too seldom characterized by either quality. 704 BOOK REVIEWS In the movement toward greater equality of the sexes which would produce more freedom and dignity for women, it seems that the most vociferous pro-feminists and anti-feminists rarely hit the happy medium in this complex and highly emotional issue. Macquarrie, on the other makes superb use of the Judaeo-Christian Tradition to aceomĀ· plish just that, looking, for example, to the ethical monotheism of the Old Testament in opposition to the pagan cults, to the fact that there were women among the disciples of Jesus, one of whom was the first witness to his resurrection, and to St. Paul's teaching that the differences between male and female do not really count in the new creation of Christ. Macquarrie points out the indispensable role of Mary in the New Testament scheme of salvation as most significant for the authentic liberation of women. It is his thesis that the "... study of the Marian tradition can help Chrit>tians reach a fuller and more balanced understanding of the feminine in their religion, from the theological question about the significance of sexuality for our understanding of God to practical questions about the roles of women in the modem Church" (p. 23). According to Macquarrie, it is not linguistic innovation but only sound teaching that will show the triune God revealed in Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, as communicating divine recreating love to us ,through the feminine as well as the masculine. This reviewer does feel obliged to raise a question about 'the author's use of theological terminology when he refers to the three divine Persons as "three distinct modes of being" (p. 21) which seems to lend itself to a modalist or Sabellian misinterpretation of the mystery of the real distinction between the three divine Persons within the one divine nature...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 703-706
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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