Despite the commonly held assumption that the Bible says little about the mother of Jesus, there are many indications that Mary preceded and inspired her son in fostering the emergence of a new faith community. In the Gospel of John, Mary instigates Jesus’ first miracle, and in all four gospels she is present at the crucifixion, suggesting hers was a place of unparalleled importance in the Christian story.
Setting aside presuppositions based on doctrine, Chris Maunder returns to the New Testament to answer the question ‘Who was Mary?’ He re-examines the virgin conception of Jesus, Mary’s contribution to Jesus’ ministry, and her central role in the events of the crucifixion and the resurrection. In so doing, Maunder casts a thought-provoking new light on Mary and the women, including Mary Magdalene, who stood alongside her.
‘Chris Maunder’s Mary, Founder of Christianity is a welcome addition to the recent resurgence of research on the Marys, and on the leadership of women in early Christianity. In particular, his focus on Mary of Nazareth’s status within the family of Jesus is a plausible and culturally relevant approach to an important issue, presented in an accessible and intriguing way.’
– Mary Ann Beavis, Professor Emerita, St Thomas More College
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