Historical Mary: Revealing the Pagan Idenity of the Virgin Mother

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Based on new anthropological discoveries and fresh research of ancient Near Eastern, Greek, Roman, Jewish and early Christian texts, this book investigates the mystery of who Mary really was and what role she played in Jesus' life and ancient society. In the tradition of the historical Jesus books, this book looks at Mary in the context of her social, political and religious settings, and comes up with some very provocative conclusions. Most significant is the pagan culture that flourished in the region of ...
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Overview


Based on new anthropological discoveries and fresh research of ancient Near Eastern, Greek, Roman, Jewish and early Christian texts, this book investigates the mystery of who Mary really was and what role she played in Jesus' life and ancient society. In the tradition of the historical Jesus books, this book looks at Mary in the context of her social, political and religious settings, and comes up with some very provocative conclusions. Most significant is the pagan culture that flourished in the region of Jesus' birth and the role Mary played within these cults.

The author uses extensive evidence to paint a vivid picture of Mary's world as a heterodox, multi-cultural region, full of cross influences and power struggles. He specifically establishes the widespread worship of female fertility goddesses and relates the known evidence of Mary's life to the practices of these fertility cults. Finding extensive parallels, the author asserts that Mary did participate in these sacred practices and only later did the male religious hierarchy of the early Christian church sanitize her image.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mary Magdalene is not the only New Testament Mary who merits a revisionist agenda these days. In The Historical Mary: Revealing the Pagan Identity of the Virgin Mother, Michael Jordan (no, not that Michael Jordan) argues that while Jesus' mom probably was a historical person, her portrait has been "fabricated" by the Roman Catholic Church to suit its own political purposes. In particular, Jordan argues, the church has suppressed the pagan roots of the Marian tradition. The best parts of Jordan's book, which is generally well argued and carefully researched, debunk Christian myths about Mary, drawing on extra-canonical writings and early church traditions as well as the sparse biblical account of her life. But at the book's end, many readers may not be persuaded that "Mary" was really a pagan goddess, though Jordan does a fine job of laying out the general similarities between her virgin-birth story and that of other pagan heroines. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569753347
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press
  • Publication date: 2/18/2003
  • Pages: 338
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1 Falling from Grace 1
2 Goddesses and Whores 19
3 The Exile 39
4 The Promise 66
5 The Biblical Mary 81
6 Priestesses of the Marriage 111
7 What's in a Name? 129
8 Brides of Christ 147
9 The Virginity Debate 166
10 Deception 190
11 Queen of Heaven 214
12 The Medieval Mary 241
13 Icons 264
14 To the Twentieth Century 281
Jewish and Christian Primary Texts 302
Early Christian Writings 305
Bibliography 308
Index 321
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