History Early Christians - Essay Example

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This first historic manifestation of Mary that was borrowed from the Apostolic Church is demonstrated in the Roman catacombs. In majority of the Christian art that was produced during this period,…
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Download file to see previous pages Agnes shows the image of Mary placed between St. Peter and St. Paul with her arms extended towards the two saints. The increased interest in the Virgin Mary that was evident during the catacombs came about as a result of a new doctrine by the Church Fathers who represented the Virgin Mary as the “New Eve”. The church fathers taught that just in the same way that Eve had played an important role in bringing the downfall of Adam, the Virgin Mary as the New Eve had played an important role in the redemptive ministry of Jesus who was seen as the new Adam. According to this teaching, both Eve and Mary had played secondary but significant roles in the lives of Adam and Jesus2.
Ideally, this understanding was not popular in the Apostolic church and hence the reason why there was little art depicting the Virgin Mary in the earlier period. Although Mary had been recognized in earlier literature within the church, the assumption by the Church Fathers that she participated in the work of Salvation with Jesus Christ had given her new status within the church. By the 3rd century, most people within the church had accepted the Virgin Mary under the title “Mother of God” even though this title had not been solemnized until two centuries later. Under this new status, praying directly to Mary was no longer seen as idolatry but rather as a spiritual communication with God3.
By the time the Council of Ephesus was convened in 431 A.D., where the Virgin Mary was officially christened as the “Mother of God” there were numerous cathedrals that had been dedicated to her name in most parts of Rome and Jerusalem and this was also the time within which art was also developing. After the Council of Ephesus, the went through a flourishing period of dedication to the Blessed Virgin in most parts of the East and the West and the quantity of this dedication was mostly brought out through art. This devotion ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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