The book begins with a visit to the long-neglected site of ancient Magdala on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Unexcavated and slipping into the sea, Migdal stands as a reminder of the lost history of Mary Magdalene, and of ancient women. From Migdal, the reader moves back in history, looking through Mary's legends to her fame and notoriety. UNDERSTOOD then explores the silence, conflation, and distortion that characterizes Mary's afterlife in text and image. There is Mary the Whore, the Demon-Possessed Madwoman, and the Penitent. All give glimpses into the significant social anxiety generated by women's sexuality, intelligence, and spirituality--power. Mary's medieval and modern legends are contrasted sharply with her depiction in the Gnostic and apocryphal materials of Tomas and Philip. The scrolls of Nag Hammadi are discussed, and Mary's role as visionary and leader are looked at--all giving a portrait of Mary's prominence in the early centuries of Christianity. Mary's story is part of an overall egalitarian and mystical movement that interpreted the absence of Jesus' body as a powerful and prophetic sign of God's vindication of the world's suffering.
The conclusion takes us back to the contemporary world. A reconstruction of Mary Magdalene and a Magdlene Christianity might be a source for social transformation. An epilogue, completely new to this book, looks at the phenomenon of THE DA VINCI CODE.
Buy Mary Magdalene Understood book by Jane Schaberg from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(216mm x 140mm x 9mm)
Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Jane Schaberg
Jane Schaberg is Professor of Religious Studies and Women's Studies at the University of Detroit Mercy. She is the author of The Illegitimacy of Jesus, and an editor of On the Cutting Edge: The Study of Women in the Biblical World. As an acknowledged expert on Mary Magdalene, she has appeared in the Washington Times, on CNN and in Newsweek. Melanie Johnson-Debaufre is Assistant Professor of Religion at Luther College.