We honor two of our sisters whose hidden apostolate in academics is making news!

Mary Un-Tier of Knots in her Patristic Context

 We congratulate  Sister Maria del Fiat Miola, SSVM on the publication of her first academic article:  “Mary as Un-tier and Tier of Knots: Irenaeus Reinterpreted” in the current issue of the Journal of Early Christian Studies (Volume 24, Number 3, Fall 2016).  Sr. Fiat is a graduate student in the Center for Early Christian Studies at The Catholic University of America where she is now completing her doctorate.journal-of-early-christian-studies
Below is the abstract of the article:
Though scholars have amply documented the seminal role of Irenaeus of Lyons in the development of Marian theology, Irenaeus uses a rare metaphor in Adversus Haereses 3.22.4 that has yet to be fully explored: “the knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied through Mary’s obedience.” Why does Irenaeus choose such a seemingly weak image to describe the redemption of humanity? The present study shows through a close exegesis of the whole passage that Mary not only unties the knot of Satan, sin, and death, but she does so through an inverse tying of her own. Analysis of the ubiquitous literary, artistic, and material sources in the ancient Greco-Roman world reveals that the knot was a powerful and ambivalent symbol, connoting virginity and healing at the same time as bondage and constraint of the will. Irenaeus’s knot finally emerges as an eloquent and multivalent symbol for Mary’s crucial role in Christ’s recapitulation.
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An earlier stage of her research was presented at a conference the Ninth Annual Archbishop Iakovos Graduate Student Conference in patristic studies hosted by the Holy Cross Orthodox Seminary in Boston in 2013 [read archived blog post].
You can learn more about her work and read the article in its unpublished format on Academia (or follow prompts to download by request).

Liturgical Rites and Medieval Consecrated Life 

 We also congratulate Sister Maria Parousia Clemens, SSVM on her upcoming presentation in the Cologne Toronto Graduate Colloquium from Thursday 29 September to Saturday 1 October in Toronto.   Sister Parousia will present ‘Consecratio duplex: The relationship between the liturgical rites of consecration of virgins and monastic profession for nuns in the central middle ages’ during Session 2 (4:00-5:15) on Thursday 29 September (Great Hall, Centre for Medieval Studies) with commentator Professor Susanne Wittekind (University of Cologne).
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Sr. Parousia is currently in the doctoral program in the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.  She completed her Master’s studies on Hildegard of Bingen at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
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May Our Lady accompany and bless these two sisters and all of our sisters and priests who pursue higher studies for the love of Truth and the Glory of God!