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Religions 2015, 6(1), 172-181;

Fully Human and Fully Divine: The Birth of Christ and the Role of Mary

Department of Religion, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD 57105, USA
Sanford School of Medicine, The University of South Dakota, 1400 W. 22nd Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57105, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yudit Greenberg
Received: 12 December 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 6 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body and Religion)
Full-Text   |   PDF [161 KB, uploaded 6 March 2015]


The task given to us for this article was to offer theological responses to, “Can modern biology interpret the mystery of the birth of Christ?” by Giuseppe Benagiano and Bruno Dallapiccola. We are female Protestant theologians and respond to the issues from this perspective. The Christian confession of the virgin birth of Jesus (stated within the Apostles and Nicene creeds) is a statement of faith that God became incarnate through the power of the Holy Spirit in the flesh of the human Jesus and, likewise, that God continues to become incarnate in our flesh and in the messy details of our lives. The mystery and miracle of the birth of Jesus has much more to do with the incarnation of God in human flesh and in God’s spirit at work in and with Mary, than to do with Mary’s gynecological or parthenogenical mechanisms. The language of mechanism and miracle, in the ways used by the authors, can reduce the mystery and power of the incarnation. Consequently, we would like to offer a theological interpretation of the birth of Jesus and the role of Mary that expresses the mystery and grace of God’s incarnation not only in human nature, but also in all of nature. Our world is God’s home. We cannot comprehend all the ramifications of what is happening in the sciences and technologies of reproduction and development. However, what we do know is that we cannot stop asking questions, seeking answers, and remaining open to being both critical of, and appreciative of, what the sciences are teaching us about being human and creatures of God. View Full-Text
Keywords: incarnation; miracle; myth; Mary incarnation; miracle; myth; Mary
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Pederson, A.M.; Spars-McKee, G.; Berndt, E.; DePerno, M.; Wehde, E. Fully Human and Fully Divine: The Birth of Christ and the Role of Mary. Religions 2015, 6, 172-181.

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