Human, All Too Human: Mariology As Theo-Philosophical Anthropology

Terry, Joseph (2023) Human, All Too Human: Mariology As Theo-Philosophical Anthropology. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Implicit within the human being as such are mysteries, which can be formulated into certain questions (What is the human being? What is the vocation of such a being? From where does it originate? What is its destiny, its telos?), that theological and philosophical anthropology seeks to address. Historically, theologically informed anthropological investigation has produced a good deal of research into some of these mysteries, but either to the exclusion of Mary, Mother of Jesus, or inclusive of her but narrowly construed. This research project aims to investigate these mysteries in and through the person of Mary, Mother of God-anthropos, in order to elucidate the overall mystery of the human being and so discover how Our Lady uniquely and decisively illumines and illustrates what it means to be human Theo-philosophically. The following objectives are, thus, pursued in this study: (1) Identifying a metaphysical basis for situating anthropological research under Mariology; (2) identifying how both a theological and philosophical consideration of Our Lady in view of anthropology is justified given such a metaphysical basis; (3) indicating how the Church’s four Marian dogmas address those questions implicit in anthropos, questions pertaining to human origin, identity, vocation, and destiny; and, finally, (4) exploring the various ways in which a Theo-philosophical anthropology predicated on Mariology reveals Mary, in synergistic partnership with her Son, to be the theoanthropocosmic synthesis as a mere human. Therefore, by systematizing the dogmatic truths of Mary in view of anthropological considerations, and by doing so within the dual methodological approaches of theology and philosophy, this study offers a framework by which we can adjudicate distinct and sometimes dispersive insights into the nature of anthropos that can be brought together under a meta-anthropology illumined by the content of revelation (via theology) and explicated (via philosophy).

This study is situated within the field of philosophical theology and is focused primarily on anthropology. The methodological approach of this investigation is qualitative and constructive. It seeks to retrieve both theological and philosophical sources of various kinds (i.e., magisterial, phenomenological, metaphysical, Christological, etc.) for the construction of a robust Marian Theo-philosophical anthropology.

The key findings in this study are as follows: Mary, due to her intrinsic relation to the Trinitarian hypostasis, is the expressed concretization of an analogical metaphysics as a mere creature; thus, a trinitarian ontology via an analogical metaphysics is revealed in and through Our Lady, situating her uniquely as definitive for anthropology. In addition, by coordinating the four Marian dogmas with the four perennial questions implicit within anthropos, Mary both illumines (grace/faith/theology) and illustrates (nature/reason/philosophy) the archetypal nature of human identity (maternal), human vocation (virginal), human origin (immaculate), and human telos (glorified), all within an eschatological frame – a temporal/eternal “tension:” pneumatic time. Thus, these findings reveal how Mary the Theotokos both enacts and recapitulates the human being Theo-philosophically as the theoanthropocosmic synthesis as a human hypostasis and so offers a way forward into future anthropological research within a (robust) Mariologically informed Theo-philosophical approach.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Cunningham, Conor
Keywords: Mariology, Anthropology, Theo-philosophical, Theological Anthropology, Philosophical Anthropology, Theotokos
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal theology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 74364
Depositing User: Terry, Joseph
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2023 04:40
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2023 04:40

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