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Daughter Zion: Meditations on the Church's Marian Belief Paperback – June 1, 1983

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Text: English, German (translation)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 82 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; First American edition (June 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898700264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898700268
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in 1927 in Germany as Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI has been head of the Roman Catholic Church since April 2005. A prolific author, theologian and university professor, Ratzinger served as an "expert" at the Second Vatican Council, and was tapped in 1977 by Pope Paul VI to lead the German Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. In 1981, Pope John Paul II called him to Rome to head the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he served until his papal election.

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Arthem on January 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Daughter Zion" is a remarkably brief but thematically expansive look at the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church concerning Mary. Cardinal Ratzinger stays true to form, summarizing a vast amount of knowledge in what amounts to an apologetic tract on Marian belief.

There are two main parts to the work. First is the analysis of Mariology from a scriptural basis, which comprises the "working backward" from the New Testament to the Old, and the "working forward" from the Old to the New. It is the latter that is more impressive. Cardinal Ratzinger does a great job explaining and defending the typology that equates Mary to Judith, Esther, Sarah and others. In the process, he effectively dispatches the notion of the Church as a patriarchy or as somehow hostile toward women. Fundamental are insights related to the special role of the "barren" woman as being simultaneously "blessed." Cardinal Ratzinger likes to point out the paradoxes or inversions that permeate Catholic belief, and he has certainly found an excellent one to highlight.

The second part of the book delves further into the developed doctrines of Mariology, particular the Virgin Birth, the Immaculate Conception, and the doctrine of the Assumption. Ratzinger has the easiest job with the Virgin Birth, utilizing his earlier points concerning the barren/blessed typology. In his discussion and defense of the Immaculate Conception, he reaches the crux of his work, in a humbling and inspiring passage: "This correspondence of God's 'Yes' with Mary's being as 'Yes' is the freedom from original sin.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Didaskalex VINE VOICE on November 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
" Mother of God, listen to my petitions; do not disregard us in adversity, but rescue us from danger." Coptic Papyrus fragment, 325 AD, P. Ryland III, 470

Virgin Mary, Theotokos:

The Old Testament Daughter of Zion was no stranger to salvation, or the coming Savior; but it was in Alexandria whose great defenders of Orthodoxy gave Mary the title Theotokos, literally the bearer of God, and Panagia, the most holly. To start with, the Title Theotokos applied quite naturally to Mary by Alexander of Alexandria. Theotokos was now becoming widely current except in Antiochene circles, according to JND Kelly. Athanasius in his defense (Contra Arius) used the title,'Ever-Virgin Mary (TeParthena Maria, Coptic; and AeiParthenos, Greek) causing it to come into vogue. Cyril the pillar of faith defended her status against the Nestorian teaching, based on the Antiochian tradition, which called her Christotokos.


In the East, tradition about Mary's special holiness developed gradually. The Church teaching (doctrine) on the person and place of the Virgin Mary within the Church tradition is called Mariology, in Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, who (with Protestants) believe she is the Mother of God the Son incarnate (in the flesh, i.e. Christ Jesus.) But the Mother of God did not feel any pangs of pain in giving birth to our Lord, according to Marian tradition, since she was hallowed by the Holy Spirit since her conception by Hennah, and became defined in the whole East as, 'Higher than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Serphim.'

Marian Devotion:

The veneration of the Most Holy Mother of God has been very profound in the East.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matthew K. Minerd on July 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
The texts contained in "Daughter Zion" are dense expositions on Mariology that prove to be a good beginning for Mariological studies. That being said, the fruit of the text can grow with further reading on the subject material as well as revisiting the texts. Ratzinger places Mariology into a place with respect to ecclesiology but moreso Christology in this text. If read with "Mary: The Church at the Source", this text offers fruits which can be related moreso to ecclesiology as well as the greater whole of Mariology. The other set of texts, containing also works by Hans Urs von Balthasar, is perhaps a bit more accessible and may be better read before reading this slim text.

On the whole, Ratzinger's work contained herein is solid as ever. The vision is deep and penetrating. I heartily suggest this work.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aquinas on March 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Written 30 years ago, this is Ratzinger at his best. What is great about Ratzinger is that he has lived throught the turmoil over the last 40 years in Catholicism, has (apprarently) been attracted to some less than orthodox ideas, but has found his way to explaining the essence of the Catholic faith in an intellectually satisfying and spiritually refereshing manner.

In this little book, Ratzinger examines the Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church and explains their christological foundations. It is undoubtedly the case that over the last 100 years, a kind of disincarnationalist dualism has entered into christian thinking accross the board (protestant and Catholic). He masterfully sweeps aside such notions and showns their dangers. He is excellent at showing that the Marian doctines are a kind of supernatural consequence of God's promise in the old Testament, and fulfilled in Mary, in the New Testament.

Benedict VXI's second volume of "Jesus of Nazareth" is supposedly out this summer; this little book, I suspect, will foreshadow some of the thinking in that book: thus, if you want a "trailer", this is for you!

At page 28, he notes that the rejection of Marian doctrines:

"leads to a picture of God's omipotence that reduces the creature to a mere masquarade and that also completely fails to understand the God of the Bible, who is characterised as being the creator and the God of the covenant...Not without reason did the Church Fathers interpret the passion and cross as marriage, as that suffering in which God takes upon himself the pain of the faithless wife in order to draw her to himself irrevocably in eternal love"

"Wherever the unity of Old and New Testaments disintegrates, the place of a healthy Mariology is lost.
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