Mary of the Bible, Mary of the Church: Why Are They so Different?

Date & time: 26 Mar 2018, 18:00 GMT | Speaker: Leonardo De Chirico | Duration: 1 hour 30 min
Leonardo De Chirico's picture

The simple sound of the name “Mary” opens up very different scenarios in different peoples’ hearts and minds. For some Christians, she was what the New Testament says she was: a young Jewish woman who was chosen by God to supernaturally conceive and give birth to Jesus, thus being part of the way in which the Son of God became a man. Part of this biblical portrayal indicates that she was also a member of the first community of men and women who followed him, not without doubts and setbacks. She is soberly respected, yet not occupying centre stage in their overall Christian experience. For others, Mary deeply shapes their whole spirituality and entire life. She is prayed to and is a venerated person surrounded by a vast array of “Marian” devotions, e.g. rosaries, processions, and pilgrimages. The titles with which she is referred to (e.g. Heavenly Queen, Mediatrix, Advocate) resemble those ascribed to her son Jesus Christ. She looks like an altogether different person than the one the previous group perceives her as.

Why is there such a difference? How can the difference be accounted for historically, theologically, and spiritually? Why is it important? What are the theological issues at stake in the inflated Mariology, and in what ways can the memory and the example of Mary be appreciated and honored in more biblical ways than those which have been practiced thus far?

Leonardo De Chirico is the pastor of Breccia di Roma, a church that he helped plant in Rome in 2009, and Vice Chairman of the Italian Evangelical Alliance. Previously, Leonardo planted and pastored an evangelical church in Ferrara, Italy from 1997 to 2009. He earned degrees in history (University of Bologna), theology (ETCW, Bridgend, Wales) and bioethics (University of Padova). His PhD is from King's College (London); it was published as Evangelical Theological Perspectives on Post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. In 2015, he published A Christian Pocket Guide to Papacy through Christian Focus. He is a lecturer of historical theology at Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione in Padova, Italy. Additionally, Leonardo is the director of the Reformanda Initiative, which aims to equip evangelical leaders to better understand and engage with Roman Catholicism, and the leader of the Rome Scholars Network (RSN).​

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Date & time: 26 Mar 2018, 18:00 GMTRegisterRecording of the webinar may be available in the Webinar recordings after the event.
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