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About This Book
The Virgin Mary has been idealized as a self-sacrificing mother throughout Christian history, but she is not the only ancient maternal figure whose story is connected to violent loss. This book examines several ancient representations of mothers and children in contexts of sociopolitical violence, demonstrating that notions of early Christian motherhood, as today, are contextual and produced for various political, social, and ethical reasons. In each chapter, the ancient maternal figure is juxtaposed with an example of contemporary maternal activism to show that maternal self-sacrifice can be understood as strategic, varied, politically charged, and rhetorically flexible.