The Earliest Dormition Traditions: Their Nature and Shape

Stephen J. Shoemaker

in Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition and Assumption

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780199250752
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600746 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

 The Earliest Dormition Traditions: Their Nature and Shape

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The first four Christian centuries are remarkably silent regarding the end of the Virgin Mary's life. Only in the later fifth century do we encounter the earliest Dormition traditions. At this point, there are suddenly several diverse narrative traditions describing the end of Mary's life. They include representatives of three distinct narrative types, the Palm of the Tree of Life narratives, the Bethlehem narratives, and the Coptic narratives, as well as a handful of atypical narratives. The traditions of Ephesus and Constantinople are also briefly considered.

Keywords: atypical narratives; Bethlehem narratives; Constantinople; Coptic narratives; earliest Dormition Traditions; Ephesus; Palm of the Tree of Life Narratives

Chapter.  28947 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Christianity

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