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Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition and Assumption$
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Stephen J. Shoemaker

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250752

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250758.001.0001

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The Earliest Dormition Traditions: Their Nature and Shape

The Earliest Dormition Traditions: Their Nature and Shape

Chapter:
(p.9) 1 The Earliest Dormition Traditions: Their Nature and Shape
Source:
Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition and Assumption
Author(s):

Stephen J. Shoemaker (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199250758.003.0002

The first four Christian centuries are remarkably silent regarding the end of the Virgin Mary's life. Only in the later fifth century do we encounter the earliest Dormition traditions. At this point, there are suddenly several diverse narrative traditions describing the end of Mary's life. They include representatives of three distinct narrative types, the Palm of the Tree of Life narratives, the Bethlehem narratives, and the Coptic narratives, as well as a handful of atypical narratives. The traditions of Ephesus and Constantinople are also briefly considered.

Keywords:   atypical narratives, Bethlehem narratives, Constantinople, Coptic narratives, earliest Dormition Traditions, Ephesus, Palm of the Tree of Life Narratives

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