Davies, Reginald (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The thesis researches links between the lives of colliery women and the life of Mary of Nazareth. As participant observer I collected evidence about colliery women in Denaby Main. The lack of direct evidence about Mary required the use of the results of contemporary New Testament scholarship as witness to the lives of first century Palestinian peasant women, using the writings of Osiek and Balch, Sawicki and Ilan. From this data a picture of peasant women was set alongside data from the gospel narratives, to produce a plausible picture of the life of Mary as a peasant woman, using Gerd Theissen’s criteria of plausibility. Contextual similarities indicate that both peasant women and colliery women, in carrying the domestic burden, were vital to the survival of family and community, managing extremes of poverty in an unforgiving environment. From the positive convergence outcomes, the thesis suggests that it is plausible to identify twelve characteristics Mary shared with colliery women. The thesis also suggests there are common features in their lives that have significance in God’s purpose.
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