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Mary in Early Christian Faith and Devotion$
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Stephen J. Shoemaker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300217216

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300217216.001.0001

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(p.229) Conclusions
Mary in Early Christian Faith and Devotion

Stephen J. Shoemaker

Yale University Press

This conclusion summarizes the evidence for Marian devotion and veneration in early Christianity. It first considers the Protevangelium of James, whose interest in Mary as a figure in her own right and its reverence for her sacred purity mark the beginnings of Marian piety in the early Christian period. It then examines a number of apocryphal texts that attest to belief in the power of Mary’s intercessions, including the Sub tuum praesidium papyrus, along with the Book of Mary’s Repose and the Six Books Dormition Apocryphon. It also discusses writings by the fourth-century church fathers, traces of Marian cult and devotion in material culture, and the events of the Council of Ephesus that reveal a vibrant cult of the Virgin standing behind the controversies over Nestorius.

Keywords:   apocrypha, Marian devotion, Christianity, Protevangelium of James, Mary, Marian piety, church fathers, Marian cult, material culture, Council of Ephesus

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