The professional debunkers of Tradition and faith have turned their eyes from Jesus to His Mother, including this professor of theology at two local Catholic colleges, Virginia Kimball.
Mary is a near-total cipher in terms of documented biography; like her son, she is a canvas on which different cultures and generations have painted their own notions. The result, Kimball says, has been to discard the real Miriam, her Hebrew name, and the scene at Bethlehem.
“Many people today look at the Nativity scene as if it’s a pageant . . . where everybody’s there: the kings, the shepherds, the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the angel, the star, everything,” says Kimball, who teaches at Merrimack College in North Andover and Assumption College in Worcester. That sacrifices historical reality (for instance, she says, there’s no way three kings would have attended the birth in the company of lowly shepherds).
Meanwhile, Mary has morphed into myth, reflected in the reverent titles piled on her head—queen of heaven, mother of the church—that “are pushing the figure of Mary almost to the position of an Isis,” the ancient Egyptian goddess, rather than a historical woman, Kimball says.
Fisking this would take forever and be nearly as long as the original article. For instance, Scripture doesn’t call the three men “kings” but “wise men”, and neither does it say that they were present at the birth of Christ, but some time later at the Epiphany. With such elemental mistakes, it’s not surprising how quickly she goes off the rails on Mary too.
What we have here is the “demythologizing” of Mary, akin to what the Jesus Seminar has done to her Son. Just as we have been told that there is a Jesus of history and Christ of faith, we are now being told of a Miriam of history and a Mary of faith.
Perhaps the occupation most dangerous to your salvation is the study of theology. I think the reason is self-evident.