The Virgin Mary

Stephen Mossman

in Marquard von Lindau and the Challenges of Religious Life in Late Medieval Germany

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199575541
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722226 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs

 						The Virgin Mary

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This chapter begins with a consideration of Marquard's presentation of Mary as a model for imitation in his Mariological commentary on the Ten Commandments. It shows that his depiction of Mary as a quiet contemplative was influenced by a thirteenth‐century Latin verse life of Mary known as the Vita rhythmica, and the significance of this particular choice of presentation amongst the various possible alternatives is discussed. The second section of the chapter constructs a history, from the twelfth to the fifteenth century, of the theology by which Mary was understood to have actualized the mystical union with God during her earthly life. This idea has not hitherto been examined or even identified by modern scholarship. The significance of the idea in relation to the functionalisation of Mary as an exemplar for medieval religious women, and Marquard's central role in the transposition of this idea into German‐language writing, are further discussed.

Keywords: Mary; Ten Commandments; contemplation; Vita rhythmica; mystical union; Mary as mystic

Chapter.  43397 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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