Saint Leo University Lecture to Address “In Quest of the Jewish Mary: The Mother of Jesus in History, Theology, and Spirituality”

January 06, 2014

Mary Christine Athans, B.V.M., Ph.D., a Sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary, professor emerita at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, and currently adjunct faculty at Loyola University in Chicago and the Catholic Theological Union, will discuss the topic “In Quest of the Jewish Mary” on Wednesday, January 29, at 2 p.m. at University Campus in the Student Community Center’s Greenfelder-Denlinger Boardrooms.

By drawing on the latest historical research, post-Vatican II Jewish-Christian dialogue, the insights of feminist theology, and contemporary spiritual reflection, Professor Athans debunks the mythological Mary by rediscovering the Jewish Mary as a woman of enormous courage, strength, and prayer. In restoring Mary to her own time and place, she helps us rediscover Mary’s message for our own time. Among her many notable accomplishments, Dr. Athans has lectured extensively and was one of four scholars on the A & E Biography television production, “Mary of Nazareth,” discussing the Jewishness of Mary.

A panel discussion following Professor Athans’ lecture will be led by Professor Eugene Fisher on “Mary, Mother of Jesus in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.” Other panelists include Rabbi Robert Judd, Dr. Paul R. McCuiston, and El Hajj Hassan Shibly. A book signing will follow the program, which is free and open to the public.

The lecture will also be presented the day before, on January 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the Franciscan Center, 3010 North Perry Avenue in Tampa. There will be pre-lecture wine and cheese reception, along with a book signing following the lecture. Suggested donation is $15.

The program is sponsored by the Saint Leo University Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies and the Franciscan Center.

For more information, please contact Professor Abraham J. Peck, executive director of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies, at (352) 588-7298 or