This unit will provide a systematic investigation of the scriptural and patristic origins of Marian doctrine and devotion in the Christian tradition. It will also trace the further development of this doctrine and devotion in the course of the Church’s history, in all the various ways which it manifests itself: art, literature, popular piety and doctrinal and liturgical expression. Special attention will be given to contemporary Church teaching and current issues in theology. A particular focus of the unit will be a careful examination of the meaning of the major Marian doctrines as they are presented in Catholic theology.

Unit code: CT9230C (Approved)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Identify, contextualise and explain the meaning and significance of those biblical texts which refer to Mary, the mother of Jesus


Demonstrate the links between the scriptural references to Mary and the developing theology of the patristic period


List and expound the criteria for distinguishing theologically sound expressions of popular Marian piety from distortions


Critically evaluate and articulate in written form the basic outlines and fundamental meaning of the central Marian dogmas of the Catholic tradition


In a rigorous, sustained and independent manner critically evaluate the role of Mary in Catholic theology or life and practice since Vatican II

Unit sequence

CT1000C or CT8010C


Lectures, seminars/tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Boss, Sarah J., ed. Mary: The Complete Resource. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Brown, Raymond E., Karl P. Donfried, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Jozef Reuman, eds. Mary in the New Testament: A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1978.
  • Buby, B. Mary of Galilee. 3 vols. New York: Alba House, 1994–1996.
  • Gambero, Luigi. Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought. Translated by Thomas Buffer. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999.
  • ———. Mary in the Middle Ages: The Blessed Virgin Mary In The Thought Of Medieval Latin Theologians. Translated by Thomas Buffer. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005.
  • Graef, Hilda, and Thomas A. Thompson. Mary: A History of Doctrine and Devotion. Revised and updated ed. Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2009.
  • Haffner, Paul. The Mystery of Mary. Leominster: Gracewing, 2004.
  • John Paul II. Redemptoris Mater. Encyclical letter, 1987.
  • Macquarrie, John. Mary for all Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991.
  • Paul VI. Marialis Cultus. Encyclical letter, 1974.
  • Rahner, Karl. Mary, Mother of the Lord. London: Catholic Book Club, 1963.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

6000 word essay

6000 80.0
Seminar or Tutorial

1500 word Seminar paper

1500 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 20 Jul, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-09-12 14:07:54 +1000