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Transforming Time – the Maternal Church and the Pilgrimage of Faith

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image of Ecclesiology

Two related themes running through Pope Francis’ theology form the focus of this article: the importance of time over space in the context of the unfolding story of salvation as a journey through history, and the motherhood of the Church, personified in Mary. On the face of it, these two different theological metaphors are not easy to combine to form a coherent ecclesiology. The first develops the Second Vatican Council’s imagery of the Church as the pilgrim people of God, and the other draws on the ancient metaphor of the Church as Mother. This article explores each of these in turn, in order to suggest ways in which they can be creatively integrated to offer a revitalised ecclesiology for our times. However, this can only happen if the church takes a leap of faith to acknowledge the sacramental significance of the female body.

Affiliations: 1: University of Roehampton, Digby Stuart College, Roehampton Lane, London sw15 5ph,


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