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date: 05 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Liturgical homilies in honour of the Virgin Mary, Theotokos (‘God-bearer’) were composed in Greek from about the early fifth century ce in the Eastern Christian Church. As Marian feasts were added to the Byzantine liturgical calendar between approximately the sixth and eighth centuries, preachers throughout the Eastern Roman empire (and beyond) added to this corpus, delivering homilies on subjects such as the Annunciation, the Nativity of the Virgin, her Entrance into the temple, and Dormition and Assumption into heaven. They were collected and transmitted mainly in liturgical collections, thus becoming readings for both liturgical and private devotional use. The surviving homilies, many of which remain untranslated into modern languages, contain a combination of Christological, narrative, and intercessory themes. As poetic, but also deeply theological, reflections on Mary, the Mother of God, these works represent important contributions to the wider Christian tradition.

Keywords: Homily, Christology, Marian feasts, narrative, apocryphal texts, intercession typology, dogma

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