Chapter

From Ethics to Eschatology: The Continuing Validity of the New Eve for Christian Doctrine and Discipleship

Tina Beattie

in Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646821
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744853 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646821.003.0006
From Ethics to Eschatology: The Continuing Validity of the New Eve for Christian Doctrine and Discipleship

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This chapter takes up Brown's suggestion that a theology of discipleship can be discovered through representations of sainthood in Christian art and devotion. However, the chapter asks if Brown goes far enough, and suggests that two constraints prevent him from fully developing some of the themes he touches upon. First, he is too cautious about offending his more Protestant readers in his engagement with Catholic art and devotion. Second, his emphasis on ethics risks eliding the eschatological dimension which imbues representations of sainthood with a more transcendent and sacramental vision. Focusing on two figures treated in his book — Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary — the chapter invites Brown to push his hermeneutical frontiers even further, in order to bring back into play some of the deeply significant symbols of gender, redemption and sacramentality which would have been more readily accessible to pre-modern audiences than to Christians today.

Keywords: David Brown; discipleship; saints; art; ethics; eschatology; Mary Magdalene; Virgin Mary; Eve; redemption

Chapter.  6992 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology

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