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date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Because the Reformation was unfavourably disposed toward expressions of the cosmological, mystical, symbolic, and aesthetic dimensions of the Virgin Mary’s spiritual presence, and because secular versions of several concepts in the Reformation became central to emergent modernity, the work of modernizing the Catholic Church at Vatican II resulted in streamlining Mary’s presence and meaning in favour of a more literal, objective, and strictly text-based version, which is simultaneously more Protestant and more modern. In the decades since Vatican II, however, the modern, mechanistic worldview has been dislodged by discoveries in physics and biology indicating that physical reality, the Creation, is composed entirely of dynamic interrelatedness. This perception also informs the Incarnation, the Resurrection, Redemption, transubstantiation, and the full spiritual presence of Mary with its mystical and cosmological dimensions. Perhaps the rigid dividing lines at Vatican II will evolve into new possibilities in the twenty-first century regarding Mary and modernity.

Keywords: Virgin Mary, modernity, non-modern Christianity, Vatican II, dynamic interrelatedness

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