The Bible and Beyond Podcast Episode
The Protevangelium of James: Where the Deep Veneration of Mary (Mother of Jesus) Came From
An Interview with Dr. Lily Vuong
About this episode: Dr. Lily Vuong – from a family of Vietnam refugees – found the ‘outsider’ point of view in the Protevangelium of James resonated with her own experience. It’s an apocryphal text, but instead of thinking of it as a ‘failed scripture,’ Vuong encourages us to appreciate the beauty and meaning of the book on its own merit. The story recounts Mary’s preparation to become the mother of Jesus. Historical facts are less important than the value and meaning of purity.
Dr. Lily Vuong’s new book, titled The Protevangelium of James, includes a new translation and commentary. She is also the author of another book, and a number of articles as well as the co-editor of several volumes on the topic. Dr. Vuong completed her PhD from McMaster University in Canada, where she studied early Judaism and Early Christianity. She is a professor at Central Washington University and will be a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies – “Beyond Canon” – at the University at Regensburg, Germany next year. Her primary academic interest is in what she calls the “non-normative ancient books.”