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Missing Mary: The Queen of Heaven and Her Re-Emergence in the Modern Church
     

Missing Mary: The Queen of Heaven and Her Re-Emergence in the Modern Church

by C. Spretnak
 
What ever happened to the Virgin Mary in the modern Catholic Church? For the past forty years her presence has been radically minimized. In a groundbreaking work, Charlene Spretnak cuts across the battle lines delineated by the left and the right within the Church to champion the recovery of the full spiritual presence of Mary. Spretnak, a liberal Catholic, asserts

Overview

What ever happened to the Virgin Mary in the modern Catholic Church? For the past forty years her presence has been radically minimized. In a groundbreaking work, Charlene Spretnak cuts across the battle lines delineated by the left and the right within the Church to champion the recovery of the full spiritual presence of Mary. Spretnak, a liberal Catholic, asserts that a deep loss ensues for women in particular when Mary's female embodiment of grace and mystical presence is denied and replaced with a strictly text-bound version of her as a Nazarene housewife. Complete with a striking insert of contemporary Marian art, Missing Mary is a deeply insightful reflection on Mary in the modern age.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For anyone who has ever loved Our Lady, or desires to, Charlene Spretnak offers a clear vision of Blessed Mother's true and enormous shape - one that some, over time, have tried to reduce to dust. But The Mother of the Immaculate Heart is a wild one. She refuses to be made small. As in the oldest 'call and response' songs, Spretnak has called on Blessed Mother's magnitude. And the Holy One has responded with her immaculate love; this is evident on every page. This book and its author are to be treasured as truly enacting the deepest spirit of ¡Viva La Virgin!" - Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD, author of Women Who Run With The Wolves and The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die

"Missing Mary is a classic! Charlene Spretnak offers authentic insight into the mystery that is Mary. The book is elegant, playful, and real. It's history and theology. It's mythic, scientific, and above all, it's cosmological. Her critique of the Marian decisions at Vatican II is wonderful, and her vision is urgently needed now. She has set a great course into the future." - Thomas Berry, author of The Great Work

"Missing Mary is a joy to read - luscious language, brilliant ideas, and a many-layered wisdom that continually astonishes. Charlene Spretnak has given birth to a work that, if fully apprehended, will change the course of history. Certainly the debate between science and spirituality is now permanently changed. Spretnak offers direct access to a deep spirituality that has the power to tear open modernity's materialist ideology, allow a fountain of grace to flow into the human heart, and save us from plummeting finally into chaos. The impact on a reader of this daring and beautiful book is profound." - Brian Swimme, Ph.D., author of The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos

"In Missing Mary, Charlene Spretnak has returned Mary to our midst where she belongs. Spretnak explores the numerous facets of Marian devotion and doctrine with gusto, including Mary's mystical presence. Spretnak's incisive arguments, her careful research into the shifting perception of Mary since Vatican II, and her clear-headed thinking about the variety of responses to this enigmatic figure are indeed welcome. A profound grassroots devotion to Mary has persisted throughout the centuries. This book brings the wisdom of that ancient belief in the 'Mother Who Contains the Uncontainable' into our world today." - China Galland, M.A., Professor-in-Residence, C.A.R.E., Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA; author of The Bond Between Women: A Journey to Fierce Compassion and Longing for Darkness: Tara and the Black Madonna.

"Charlene Spretnak skillfully sheds light on the remarkable reawakening of devotion to the feminine in a modern context. Her careful historical analysis and her clear insights into the cosmological implications of Mary make this book fascinating and indispensable reading. With this path breaking work the bridges can now be made to the enormous energy of devotion to the feminine in many parts of the world that reflect our new historical moment." - Mary Evelyn Tucker, Department of Religion, Bucknell University

"Passionate and courageous, Missing Mary is a rousing call to recover and reclaim the mystical dimensions of the cosmic 'Queen of Heaven.' Spretnak rescues Mary from social conservatives and actually makes it 'safe' for progressives to reclaim the mysteries of Marian spirituality. In a narrative filled with suspense and surprises, Spretnak traces the fate of Mary in the Catholic Church in recent decades and charts a path for revitalizing her spiritual presence in the world today. For all those who have hungered for the power of the Blessed Mother in their lives, Spretnak's book is a banquet." - Professor Sarah McFarland Taylor, Department of Religion, Northwestern University

"In Missing Mary, Charlene Spretnak details the opposition to Our Lady during and after the Second Vatican Council, how liturgists, catechists, religious educators, ecumenists and feminist theologians have tried to diminish Mary's role in Catholic life . . . She argues that they almost succeeded, but now there are signs of a 'return' to Mary." - Fr. Andrew Greeley, National Catholic Reporter

"In her well-researched original work, Spretnak has composed one of the most profound theological reflections on the post-Vatican II church. With clear and lyrical prose, she names the challenges and points us well beyond." - Catholic New Times (Toronto)

"Mary's comeback as Queen of the Universe makes her, in Spretnak's words, 'much more than a nice lady mentioned in the Bible.'" - Los Angeles Times

"The book is a nice blend of theological argument and reportage of popular piety...Spretnak's writing is engaging." - Publishers Weekly

"If you have prayed for a closer walk with Mary, then this book is an answer to your prayer. Charlene Spretnak serves not just Mary, but all of us, in returning her to her proper place in the cosmos and in our hearts." - Marianne Williamson, author of Everyday Grace

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403970404
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
02/12/2004
Edition description:
2004
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.03(d)

Meet the Author

Charlene Spretnak is the author of several books, including States of Grace and The Resurgence of the Real. She is a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

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