Mary: Bridge to Islam

by Arthur Jones

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"Mary seems to be a bridge to Islam," writes James Heft, SM. "The Qur'an mentioned Mary by name 34 times, presenting her as a model affirming her virginal conception of Jesus. Still another striking example: only 7 per cent of wartorn Sri Lamka is Christian, but during the (2009) feast of the Assumption 500,000 people, including tens of thousands of Buddhists and Hindus -- who fought against each other in civil war -- together thronged the roads to Madhu to honor the Mother of Madhu, represented by a 500 year-old statue of Mary.

Who would have guessed a century ago tha the Mother of Jesus would be such a magnet and force in ecumenical and interreligious dialogues."

Have we other examples of Mary as a force in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue?

In The Marian Blog, NCR books editor Arthur Jones invites a discussion on envisioning Mary, the mother of Jesus, in 21st-century terms.

Jones has been a Catholic journalist since before the Second Vatican Council. This month, Paulist Press releases his latest book, Mary, a Mother Waiting, Raising the Messiah. Jones describes his book as an exploration of the mother-son relationship of Mary and Jesus during the “hidden years,” until she eases him front and center into his ministry at Cana.

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