The course will be partly historical and cultural, and partly theological. It will examine the development of Marian doctrine and devotion -- mainly in the Western church -- from Christianity's earliest beginnings until the present day, drawing attention to Mary's central position in Christian theology and culture.
We shall pay particular attention to the visual arts, and will consider such varied questions as Mary's place in ecumenical dialogue, the character of Marian pilgrimage, and the relationship between the Virgin's cult and cultural constructions of gender.
Some sessions will consider detailed theological arguments, and others will be concerned with the history of popular devotion. There will be scope for students to pursue their own interests.