Christian Response Essay 2: Divine Mirrors: The Virgin Mary In The Divine Arts
Throughout my life I have never given much thought about the significance of the Virgin Mary. All I knew were limited to the basic teachings of World Religion and it could basically be summarized into a sentence: Mary was a virgin, and also the mother of Jesus Christ according to the religions of the book. However, after attending the talk by Melissa Kratz about the complex relationship between sacred imagery and secular identity in the art of the Madonna, I was suddenly intrigued by how remarkable and complex the Virgin Mary actually is in Christianity, and even more so in our modern society; this beautiful, admirable feminine figure in my mind officially became the intersection between religion and modern life. I pondered over questions during the lecture. What was the meaning of the Virgin Mary? How did she become the role model of devoted Christians, or to narrow it down, Catholics, worldwide? Furthermore, why would different Christian denominations have distinctive views of her? Saint Augustine of Hippo, Pope Gregory and even the second council of Nicea proved her ability to resonate believers and non-believers. If so, wouldn’t she be more powerful than Jesus Himself? And then I realized my last question to myself was the reason why other Christian denominations besides Catholicism do not have images of the Virgin Mary in their church, and tend to give the Virgin Mary a relatively minor role in Christ’s teachings. Protestants consider the statues of the Virgin Mary around the church as a form of violation in the second of the Ten Commandments- “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” But Catholics defended their views by explaining that believers are supposed to honor the persons represented by the statues rather than the statues themselves. Therefore in my opinion, it solely depends on a person’s mentality to either agree or disagree a certain denomination’s...
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