Abstract and Keywords
Mary, the queen of heaven and the most powerful intercessor among all the saints, was the focus of intense piety and devotion at the turn of the sixteenth century. She played a central role in the life of Christians, both in private devotions and in public ritual. But not everyone was pleased with the quantity or quality of Marian devotion. Following earlier critics, Martin Luther rejected much of the medieval cult surrounding Mary and transformed Marian devotion, inspiring a shift in her image from that of a powerful, merciful queen to a humble, obedient housewife. Although he maintained a warm, if transformed, devotion to Mary himself, Luther’s understanding of her role as the Mother of God and foremost of saints was dramatically different from the late medieval understanding. His influence on Protestant areas had the long-term effect of reducing Mary’s importance in Christian life and her visibility to Christians.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.