This unit explores the place of Mary in the tradition of western Christianity, through various prisms: theology, scripture, art, spirituality, history, hymnody and more. Mary will be studied using the tools of these disciplines. The unit will consider the role of Mary in history, culture and theology both methodically and critically.

Unit code: DS9320Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Spirituality

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Evaluate Christian traditions concerning Mary in the light of their biblical foundations


Explain development in the theologies about, cults of and devotion to Mary because of their historical context


Analyse the mutual effect of developments in theological reflection upon Mary and of cultural and artistic expressions of her and her cult


Assess critically a Marian spirituality in the light of the theological, biblical and historical traditions concerning Mary


Assess critically a Marian spirituality in the light of the theological, biblical and historical traditions concerning Mary

Unit sequence

A Foundational unit in either CH or CT or DS


An interactive mode lecture, exploratory workshop, series of pre-prepared materials and online resources will be employed.

Indicative Bibliography

  • ARCIC. Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ. London: Morehouse, 2005.
  • Boss, Sarah Jane. Mary: The Complete Resource. Oxford: OUP, 2007.
  • Ebertshauser, Caroline. Mary: Art, Culture and Religion through the Ages. New York: Crossroad Publications, 1998.
  • Farrell, Marie. Gathering with Mary Under the Southern Cross. Strathfield, NSW: St Paul’s, 2007
  • Gaventa, Beverly Roberts. Mary: Glimpses of the Mother of Jesus. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.
  • Graef, Hilda (ed). Mary: A History of Doctrine and Devotion. Notre Dame, IN: Christian Classics, 2009.
  • Johnson, Elizabeth. Truly Our Sister: A Theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints. New York: Continuum, 2003.
  • Katz, Melissa R., ed., Divine Mirrors: The Virgin Mary in the Visual Arts. Oxford: OUP, 2001.
  • Levine, Amy-Jill, ed., A Feminist Companion to Mariology. London: T & T Clark, 2005.
  • Rubin, Miri. Mother of God: A History of the Virgin Mary. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2009.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Reflection - Session 1 Reflection 700 10.0
Reflection - Session 2 Reflection 700 10.0
Reflection - Session 3 Reflection 700 10.0
Reflection - Session 4 Reflection 700 10.0
Reflection - Session 5 Reflection 700 10.0
Essay - Essay 3500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 3 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-03 16:34:37 +1000