Iconographer Mary Jane Miller has developed an exquisite and distinctive voice as a Byzantine style writer of icons, adapting the style and subjects of the Orthodox tradition to express her personal spiritual journey. She boldly substitutes women for men in traditional scenes such as the Foot Washing and the Garden of Gethsemane and creates such entirely new subjects as Christ Teaching the Women.
As a writer of icons and of words she draws inspiration from the Bible and from such extra-canonical sources as the Gnostic Gospel of Mary Magdalene. She conveys her feminist arguments with passion and ingenuity, offering a critique of the position of women in the historical church that echoes many of the arguments of feminist theologians and biblical critics.
In Light of Women is an 72-page book that incorporates 24 full-color original Byzantine style icon images in the egg tempera technique, egg yolk and ancient dirt to create divine image. Millers icons are juxtaposed with text describing each images history, religious context and her own reflection. I have brought word and image together through meditation during 25 years of dedication to this ancient technique. The book includes a thorough introduction and three distinct sections that build to my most dynamic and contemporary works highlighted in the book.
Part 1, Mary Icons explore the history of Mary the Mother of Jesus in iconography, tradition’s most popular image. Part 2, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene explores icons that were inspired by the Gnostic text with startling creative insights from traditional theology. Part 3, Feminine Voice explores classic icons interpreted with women added to them.
In Light of Women is Available through Amazon and Lulu.com.