The Miriamic Procession

Instructor:  Dr. Deidre Good

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Through examining some selected literary excerpts, this course will explore the evolution of Miriam/Mary/Maryam from ordinary woman to “chosen…above all women of creation.” The Miriamic tradition or procession is both auditory and visual. The sound starts with an unnamed sister raising a brother and moves to the glorious song of Miriam who sings the “Song of the Sea,” celebrating Israel’s deliverance from the powerful Egyptians with music and dance. Some scholars have suggested that Miriam was connected to a philosopher role, and the notion that she communicated with God is advanced through other texts from the Hebrew Bible.

The Miriamic procession continues in the New Testament from Mary, mother in the birth stories, through women disciples in Jesus’ ministry, to the women, especially Mary Magdalen at the empty tomb and at the resurrection. In the Ethiopian Christian Canon, the Weddase Mariam, consisting of seven prayers, one for each day of the week, is appended to the Psalter, and thus has almost canonical status.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, holds a singular exalted place in the Islam liturgy as well, as the only woman named in the Qu’ran, which refers to her seventy times, more often than in the New Testament, and especially identifies her as the greatest of all women.

Dr. Deidre Good received her Doctor of Theology from the Harvard School of Divinity in 1983 and holds several other advanced degrees from seminaries and other universities.