A major issue over which many Evangelicals differ from Roman Catholics is the status of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Evangelicals critique some of the Marian dogmas and practices as excesses that challenge with Christ’s sole mediation and eclipse the Spirit, while Catholics see Protestant neglect of Mary as potentially leading to failure to fully acknowledge Christ’s humanity and divinity.
This dissertation attempts to bridge the gap between the Catholic and Evangelical Marys by proposing a Pentecostal Mary. After outlining the underlying pneumatic, ecumenical hermeneutic in the first chapter, in the next three I focus on the Scriptures related to Mary, including Matthean, Lukan, and Johannine literature. In the fifth to seventh chapters I survey Mary in relation to the Holy Spirit from the perspective of (1) selected theologians prior to the High Middle Ages including Ephrem of Syria, Jacob of Serugh, and Ildelfonsus of Toledo, (2) twelfth-century theologians including Hugh of Saint-Victor, Amadeus of Lausanne, and Hildegard of Bingen, and (3) modern theologians including Matthias Scheeben, Sergius Bulgakov, and Heribert Mühlen. The final chapter offers a theological construction of Mary as a prototype of Spirit-filled humanity, what might be called a “Spirit-Mariology” analogous in a limited way to Spirit-Christology. This proposal has practical implications for life in the Spirit for all traditions, particularly the Spirit-anointing of women to fulfill their calling to motherhood and other ministries.
Overshadowed by the Spirit, Mary is a model of Spirit-indwelt humanity analogous to the Spirit-humanity of Christ. “Full of grace” and of the Holy Spirit, Mary is supernaturalized such that, without the eradication of her human nature, she undergoes a transformation, first hidden, ultimately glorious, similar to Christ’s own transfiguration and glorification. Mary’s overshadowing by the Spirit—her sanctification, divinization, theosis—is prototypical of the eschatological fulfillment of all humanity docile to the Spirit of Christ. Transfiguration into God-likeness is a soteriological vision that all Christians can share as together they contemplate the overshadowing of the lowly maiden of Nazareth by the Spirit of the Most High God.
Shelton, S. J. (2016). Overshadowed by the spirit: Mary, mother of our lord, prototype of spirit-baptized humanity (Order No. 10111438). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1798489538).