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Book Title: The Life of the Virgin: Maximus the Confessor|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 569 KB
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The author of the book: Stephen J. Shoemaker
Edition: Yale University Press
Date of issue: May 29th 2012
ISBN 13: 9780300175042
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Reader ratings: 5.1
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Long overlooked by scholars, this seventh-century Life of the Virgin, attributed to Maximus the Confessor, is the earliest complete Marian biography. Originally written in Greek and now surviving only in Old Georgian, it is now translated for the first time into English. It is a work that holds profound significance for understanding the history of late ancient and medieval Christianity, providing a rich source for understanding the history of Christian piety.
This Life is especially remarkable for its representation of Mary's prominent involvement in her son's ministry and her leadership of the early Christian community. In particular, it reveals highly developed devotion to Mary's compassionate suffering at the Crucifixion, anticipating by several centuries an influential medieval style of devotion known as “affective piety” whose origins generally have been confined to the Western High Middle Ages.
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Read information about the authorStephen Shoemaker (Ph.D. ’97, Duke University) is a specialist on the history of Christianity and the beginnings of Islam. His primary interests lie in the ancient and early medieval Christian traditions, and more specifically in early Byzantine and Near Eastern Christianity. His research focuses on early devotion to the Virgin Mary, Christian apocryphal literature, and Islamic origins.
Prof. Shoemaker is the author of The Death of a Prophet: The End of Muhammad’s Life and the Beginnings of Islam (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), a study of the “historical Muhammad” that focuses on traditions about the end of his life. He has also published numerous studies on early Christian traditions about Mary (especially in apocrypha), including The Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary’s Dormition and Assumption (Oxford University Press, 2002), a study of the earliest traditions of the end of Mary’s life that combines archaeological, liturgical, and literary evidence. This volume also includes critical translations of many of the earliest narratives of Mary’s Dormition and Assumption, made from Ethiopic, Syriac, Georgian, Coptic, and Greek.
Prof. Shoemaker has recently published a translation of the earliest Life of the Virgin attributed to Maximus the Confessor (Yale University Press, 2012), a pivotal if overlooked late ancient text that survives only in a Georgian translation. Currently he is finishing a book on the beginnings of Christian devotion to Mary and completing the translation of several eighth-century Christian martyrdoms from the early Islamic Near East. In addition, he is preparing a new critical edition of the early Syriac Dormition narratives.
Prof. Shoemaker has been awarded research fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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