Ontelly

The Essay - Visions of Mary - Prof Diarmaid MacCulloch


"How do you solve a problem like Maria?" sang the nuns in 'The Sound of Music', but 16th century Reformers faced a far trickier Maria problem. They were trying to both have their cake and eat it on the Blessed Virgin Mary: they wanted to be exponents of the new doctrine of sola scriptura (that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness), without jettisoning the Catholic understanding of the creeds. Very important things that lay at the heart of traditional Christianity could not be shown explicitly in the Bible. One of those core beliefs was that of the perpetual virginity of Mary. A few moments of scriptural perusal can tell you that this is a knotty proposition, as the Bible mentions Jesus's brothers and sisters, but to throw overboard centuries of church tradition was just too much for most Reformers. Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, author of the award-winning book, 'A History of Christianity' shows how this seemingly abstruse matter of doctrine actually opens a window onto the psyche of Reformers and their relationship with Mary.