The Passion of Maryam is a dramatic search for the person embodied in the icon of the Virgin Mother. What might she really have been like? What might her relationship have been with her charismatic son and with God? While Mary and Jesus Maryam and Yeshua are usually pictured as embodying unsullied good, what if it had been the case that both, from the beginning, had been forced to seek the holy from an abyss of evil? Would that not reveal a particular depth and reach to their unique lives? In a meditation on good, evil, and the divine, the novel finds within the icon a pious first-century young woman who suffers a profound violation that plunges her into doubt about her faith and beliefs in the God of Israel. She endures to become a wife and mother, who struggles with her entrancing and enigmatic firstborn. Their interaction at his cruel execution shines light into the shadowed layers of their relationship with each other and with the Holy One, God of Israel, and climaxes her struggle to turn unfathomable evil into the transcendent mystery of the divine. This reveals anew the imperishability of a mother s love, even as it exposes the cost to her and her son of being chosen by God.
To ensure as accurate a picture as possible of the novel s first-century setting, seven years of research went into exploring numerous biblical and scholarly sources, including the study of Hebrew and Greek and visiting the Holy Land. An enormous number of Biblical books were read and many Biblical scholars were consulted for this book.
"From the beginning of time there have been individuals who have been intensely capable of knowing and revealing the presence of the Divine in human life. Through and in Loren Woodson's THE PASSION OF MARYAM, we learn about our strengths, our weakness, our spirit, and ourselves..and indeed about all that connects us to the God of many names."
Rev. Ann Louise Hutchins-Case, The United Methodist Church, South Indiana; Staff Chaplain, St. Francis Catholic Hospital, Beach Grove, Indiana
"With his background in psychoanalysis, author Woodson is able to shed new and fascinating light on a familiar story by revealing, in language appropriate to the times, what Maryam and those closest to her might have experienced emotionally at each stage of her remarkable journey through life."
Nancy Hardin, book editor and film producer, Frida, Noriega: God's Favorite
"Woodson set out to stir the reader to reconsider the widely accepted account of the birth of Jesus to the virgin, Mary. [He] has an amazing insight and understanding of family relationships. This insight is brilliantly used as he developed his characters, their interaction and their relationships."
Richard R. Blake, Christian Education Consultant
"THE PASSION OF MARYAM will challenge the thoughtful reader to reconsider just what was the whole story of the limited portion of Mary's life that the Gospels provide. This is a book to read and reread and then consider its place in the reader's view of Christianity." Frederick L. Simmons, University of Judaism, Los Angeles, author King David, a play; co-moderator Archaeology and the Bible
"In the face of our tendency to imagine that God's anointed ones are exempt from most worldly ills, THE PASSION OF MARYAM depicts a Mary (Maryam) and Jesus (Yeshua) who confront evil, fear, doubt, and struggle full-force, yet sensing the Almighty is truly at work in their lives."
Rev. Larry Young, United Methodist pastor, Southern California