Please read the article”Re-imagining Mary at Christmas” and answer the following questions. Send answers to the School with Shemsu 10 in the subject line.


1. Fill in the blanks:  If the __________ woman in the world was____________ to a husband of lesser virtue, then the quality of a woman’s____________ was the index of her __________.

2. T or F: Traditional depictions of Mary emphasize her submissive obedience.

3. T or F: So little is said about Mary in the gospels, and much of that contradictory, that she offers enormous scope for projection.

4. T or F: The popular Christian portrayal of Mary as a victim, helpless and devoid of resources, material, psychological or spiritual, who meekly accepts one disaster after another, is based on scriptural accounts.

5. How do the materials the new images of Mary described in this article are made out of reflect her true nature, versus the fragile plaster most saintly images of her are made out of?

6. Out of the four images in this article, please describe your favorite.Why is it your favorite?

7. Essay: How does the depiction of feminine ecstasy as so-called “erotic suffering” in Christian art and romantic literature and film contribute to the images of violence against women so pervasive in Western society?

8. (Extra Credit) Make your own “image” of Mary either by drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, composing a song, or through other expressive means.  If you are into drawing or painting, Try Project 3.  Draw / Paint your own Icon of Mary.

Hint for question number 7:  It encourages a sadistic attitude toward women and portrays the suffering of women as a religious and ecstatic value, normalizing it and making it acceptable in society.  It implies that the more “civilized” and “God-centered” we become, the more violence against women will escalate. It teaches the lie that women are “supposed”to suffer, that they “like” it.