Mary Magdalene Understood / Edition 1

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This book is a rather unusual venture for Continuum—it is nothing less than a simplified version of Schaberg's more scholarly and demanding Resurrection of Mary Magdalene. In response to the explosion of popular interest in the story of Mary of Magdala in the wake of Dan Brown's popular novel and the movie based on it, Continuum and Schaberg clearly decided that there was a market for a popular version of her book. Gone are most of the scholarly citations, but what remains is more than enough for many readers and reading groups to get a glimpse of what current biblical scholarship and feminist inquiry are really like. For most collections.


—Graham Christian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826418999
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 10/15/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 849,069
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
Jane Schaberg is also a contributor to Secrets of Mary Magdalene Edited by Dan Burstein and Arne J. de Keijzer, with an introduction by Elaine H. Pagels.

MElanie Johnson-DeBaufre is Associate Professor of New Testament at Drew Theological School, Madison, NY, USA

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Table of Contents

Introduction - A Feminist Reconstruction of the Historical Mary Magdalene

1 A Dig of One's Own

2 Thinking Back through the Magdalene

3 The Woman Who Understood (Too) Completely

4 The Women Did Not Flee

5 Mary Magdalene as Successor to Jesus

Conclusion: The Implications for Contemporary Women

Epilogue: New Reflections on THE DA VINCI CODE

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