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Our Lady and the Church Paperback – January 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"Buy two copies today, one for you and one for your pastor. This is a truly illuminating and wondrous book." -- Fr. Shane Tharp, Catholic Ragemonkey weblog

"This is an extraordinarily instructive book that well deserves the new life given it by Zaccheus Press." -- First Things, May 2005

"This marvelous work is one of the most important theological rediscoveries of the 20th century." -- Pope Benedict XVI

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Zaccheus Press; Reprint edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972598111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972598118
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By P. Burdick on June 24, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Father Hugo Rahner, S.J.--brother, I believe, to the popular and controversial theologian, Karl--has put together a compact and worthy summary of Catholic patristic teaching on Mary, her relationship to the Church, and to members within the Church.

Fr. Rahner takes the major marian doctrines of, for example, her Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, Divine Maternity, etc., and with parallels from the Church fathers shows how the Church is prefigured in Mary, and how Our Lady is the model and fullfilment of the Church's members. The short book is well organized and chock-full of apt quotes from the great (Greek and Latin) fathers (e.g., Ambrose, Augustine, Ephrem the Syrian, etc.).

This book is a great summary and companion text to accompany one's other, more involved and specific quests in Mariology. I read it inbetween two wonderful books by Fr. Luigi Gambero: (1) Mary and the Fathers of the Church, and (2) Mary in the Middle Ages--also published by Ignatius Press.

I can't tell you how much these books, and other like them, have helped stir, legitimately direct and increase my devotion to Our Lady ("Domina"). And, since where Mary is, the Lord is also, these books have helped me grow in love and adoration of our Savior; Mary's vocation was, is and ever shall be to "magnify the Lord," in a way in which only she--by the graces and election of Almighty God--is capable.

Deo gratias!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Oswald Sobrino on June 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This small book is packed with images of Mary that are fertile for prayer and meditation. For example, you will never think of the sacrament of Baptism in the same way again when you focus on the baptismal font as representative of the womb of Mary so that Mary is indeed our Mother as she was the Mother of Christ. You will also see the Marian character of evangelization in which we as Christians become "other Marys" as we give birth to new Christians. All of these insights come from the early Church Fathers as they prayed over the Scriptures and communicated their deep faith to their listeners. Fr. Hugo Rahner (not to be confused with his controversial brother Karl Rahner) originally published this small book in 1961, just before Vatican II. The book reflects the movement for ressourcement or a "return to the sources" that was at the heart of Vatican II. In this book, Hugo Rahner returns to the Scriptures as seen through the eyes of the early Church Fathers who were very Marian.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Hamilton Armstrong on September 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
For anyone (Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish) trying to understand the high place accorded to Mary and her veneration in the Catholic(and Orthodox) Churches, this book is a good place to start. Written by Hugo Rahner, S.J., brother of better known "modernist" theologian, Carl Rahner, S.J., this book lays out, with numerous quotes from the Eastern and Western Fathers, medieval and modern theologians up to the brink of Vatican II, the perennial teaching of the Church that the Virgin Mary the immaculate Mother of Jesus is type and for-runner of the Church,a new creation as "Spotless Bride of Christ." - "What He bestowed on Mary in the Flesh, He has destowed on the Church in the Spirit:Mary gave birth to the One, and the Church gives birth to the Many, who through the One become one." - St,Augustine.

Thus the "Woman Clothed in the Sun giving birth to the man child" of Revelations 12:1,2,5 stands for Mary as iniciator of Salvation in Christ and the Church groaning in fulfillment until the end of time. In this dual yet single role can be seen the mediation of graces of Mary and the Church

It is also in this light, according to Fr. Rahner, that the the Catholic dogmas regarding Mary, especially that of the Assumption takes on meaning. "Our Lady's Assumption, the final history of the body of the woman who gave birth to God, is therefore not so much an exception to the rule, but much more a fulfilling in advance of what is promised to the whole Mystical Body of Christ." This is a must read book on Mariology.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CDS on May 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was written nearly fifty years ago, and so it may have a dated feel at times, especially since the Church has put forth encyclicals (Marialis Cultus) and other writings on proper devotion to Mary. However what this book does do beautifully is to draw on scripture and tradition to illustrate the connections between Mary, The Church and salvation history. It helps the believer understand their place in all of this. It's a short and enriching read. I particularly enjoyed reading what the Church has been saying through the centuries about Mary.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Because the preface to this book explains most anything you need to know objectively decide if you want to purchase this book it makes sense to reproduce here as part of this review its most concise and effective expression of what you can expect.
“We expect brothers to bear a likeness to each other, but we often find the unlikeness to be more glaring than the likeness… Hugo and Karl Rahner were brothers of this contrasting kind. They were members of the same religious as well as natural family; both were Jesuit priests. Their work within the Society of Jesus was also the same: the study and teaching of theology. But they set about their work in very different ways. In the style in which they expressed themselves, in the sources upon which they drew, and often, so it would seem, in their fundamental understanding of what constitutes the science of sacred doctrine, these spiritual sons of Saint Ignatius, these physical sons of Karl the elder and Luisa Rahner, showed few signs of kinship. The prose of Karl Rahner is heavy with the earnestness and complexity of the stereotypical German professor; Hugo has a lighter touch, and writes with glimmers of humor and a poet’s feel for words. Karl appears lost in conversation with himself and his modern mentors (usually unnamed); Hugo lets the masters of Catholic tradition speak for themselves. Karl is a “Transcendental Thomist,” engaged in rethinking Thomistic metaphysics from a Kantian starting-point, a project that to most Thomists has as much intelligibility as the squaring of the circle. Hugo is a contented disciple of Sint Thomas, as is evident in his little book on play, inspired, he says, by the “genius” of the Angelic Doctor and his doctrine of eutrapelia (playfulness).
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