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The Virgin: Mary's Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess Paperback – Dec 1 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (Dec 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750950641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750950640
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,259,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Mr Ashe deploys real scholarship in crisp ironical, stimulating prose' Sunday Times'Mr Ashe makes an honorably sharp distinction between his history and his speculation, and his book is thought-provoking' Philip Toynbee in the Observer

About the Author

Geoffrey Ashe is a well-known and respected writer on Arthurian myth and legend, and is the author of Merlin, King Arthur's Avalon, The Discovery of King Arthur and The Hell-Fire Clubs. He lives at the foot of Glastonbury Tor.

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
Eye-opening examination of the pagan roots of Mariolatry March 18 2015
By Tom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most Evangelical Christians would view with amazement Roman Catholicism's elevation of Mary to Queen of Heaven, Mediatrix, and Co-Redemptrix, positions which rival (and often overshadow) the offices of Jesus Christ. Yet Mary is mentioned only briefly in the Gospels and Acts and isn't cited at all in the Epistles. How did Rome's transformation of humble Mary to semi-deity and "channel of all grace" come about?

In this fascinating book, eminent English historian and mythologist, Geoffrey Ashe, clinically deconstructs the development of the Marian cult. Worship of a life-giving, nurturing mother goddess was quite common in ancient civilizations. The Old Testament makes many references to the Canaanites' mother goddess, Asherah. As Christianity spread from Judea to the far reaches of the Roman Empire it encountered pagan religions with their popular female deities and their promotion of mother goddess worship. What resulted was predictable.

The worship of Mary began within some quasi-Christian fringe heretical groups (e.g., the Collyridians) in parallel with mainstream Christianity. Beginning in the late-300s elements of Mariolatry began to creep into the church. Because Mary worship had no explicit support in the Bible or in the writings of the early church "fathers" Marianists spawned their dogmatic extrapolations with the argument that since it was possible for God to do thus and thus regarding Mary then He "must have." Bible texts were manipulated and reinterpreted (Mary as the new Eve, Mary as a type of Elijah, Mary as Wisdom, Mary as the ark, Mary as God's beloved spouse, etc.) to support the new Mary-goddess ideology. The common folk eagerly embraced Mother Mary as the "Christian" alternative to their former beloved pagan mother goddesses.

While Ashe is not a Christian, this masterful examination of the pagan roots of Mariolatry is an extremely valuable resource for interested Evangelical believers. Excellent! Outstanding!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Geoffrey Ashe's book "The Virgin" Dec 23 2012
By Tterrence Saunders - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very learned essay if quite unorthodox one on the rise of the veneration of Our Lady in and outside the Christian Church. I'd recommend it to all denominations,Roman Catholic,Anglican,Protestant and Eastern orthodox alike.
Full of historical facts and reference as well as interesting speculation.I have a copy both for myself and my sister.
An exciting book.
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The Virgin: Mary's Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess Feb. 1 2010
By Bronwen McKay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely love this book and think that it's wonderful. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in Mary and Her history.