Perspectief 2022-57

2022-57 Recensie van Maria: icoon van genade 23 attitudes toward the Roman Catholic Church are distinguished in “Towards a Common Understanding of the Church”: There are within the Reformed family those whose attitude to the Roman Catholic Church remains essentially negative: [1] some because they remain to be convinced that the modern development of the Roman Catholic Church has really addressed the issues of the Reformation, and [2] others because they have been largely untouched by the ecumenical exchanges of recent times and have therefore not been challenged or encouraged to reconsider their traditional stance. But this is only one part of the picture. [3] Others in the Reformed tradition have sought to engage in a fresh constructive and critical evaluation both of the contemporary teaching and practice of the Roman Catholic Church and of the classical controverted issues. I suggest that Huijgen is in the third category in his approach to a theology of Mary. In this respect, he is trying, as Berkouwer suggests above, to open up a new ecumenical perspective and hence soften some of the traditional points of the controversy. For instance, he affirms an “Ecclesiotypical Mariology” rather than a “Christotypical Mariology” (127). The former approach emphasizes Mary as a singularly unique member of the Church, but also an archetype of the Church. It is Mary’s faith that is the archetype of the Church in that she brings to fulfillment the Abrahamic faith of the Old Testament. Recall the greeting of Elizabeth to Mary. “‘Filled with the Holy Spirit’ she greets Mary with a loud cry (Lk 1: 42): ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!’” The latter approach identified the Mother of our Lord more with her Son, such that she is understood vis-à-vis the Church. Huijgen also affirms minimalism rather than a maximalist approach to Mary (127). The minimalist rejects any approach to Mary’s role that may undermine the dogma regarding the singularly unique Mediatorship of Jesus Christ in divine redemption. As Otto Semmelroth, SJ, puts it succinctly, “The question is not of one main Mediator but, simply one [1 Tim 2:5].” Of course, the maximalist agrees with that dogma. Still, according to the minimalist, the maximalist view that Mary participates in objective redemption obscures and even minimizes that dogma. That is the case because, according to maximalism, Mary stands, even if entirely subordinate and dependent upon Christ, as a kind of co-redemptive principle, which, although subordinate to Christ’s Mediatorship, co-