The Quest for Mary Magdalene
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The Quest for Mary Magdalene

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From Michael Haag, the international bestselling author of The Templars: The History & the Myth and The Tragedy of the Templars, comes a fascinating account of one of the most mysterious and controversial figures in religious history.

Mary Magdalene is a potent and enigmatic figure. In the gospels she finances Jesus' mission in Galilee and is the only person with Jesus at his crucifixion, burial and resurrection--the critical moments that define his purpose and give rise to a new religion.

Yet in the sixth century Mary Magdalene fell foul of a profound argument in which the established, ritualized and hierarchical Church required that God be worshipped through itself, whereas everything about Mary Magdalene suggests a more immediate and personal experience of the divine. Pope Gregory reduced Mary Magdalene from an independent visionary to a sinner and a prostitute while making Jesus' mother Mary, who is a nonentity in the gospels, into a creature of the Church, hailing her as the epitome of all things feminine and holy.

In The Quest for Mary Magdalene, historian Michael Haag presents Mary Magdalene as the woman at the center of Jesus's life, a visionary and a radically independent woman. He explores how she has been used and abused and reinterpreted in every age, and he examines what she reveals about men and women, Jesus and God.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 323 pages
  • 132 x 201 x 23mm | 227g
  • Harper Paperbacks
  • United States
  • English
  • 0062059769
  • 9780062059765
  • 1,236,218

Back cover copy

From the international bestselling author of The Templars and The Tragedy of the Templars comes a fascinating account of one of the most mysterious and controversial figures in religious history.

Mary Magdalene is a larger figure than any text, larger than the Bible or the Church; she has taken on a life of her own. She has been portrayed as a penitent whore, a wealthy woman, Christ's wife, an adulteress, a symbol of the frailty of women, and an object of veneration. And, to this day, she remains a potent and mysterious figure.

In the manner of a quest, this book follows Mary Magdalene through the centuries, explores how she has been reinterpreted for every age, and examines what she herself reveals about woman and man and the divine. It seeks the real Mary Magdalene in the New Testament and in the gnostic gospels, where she is extolled as the chief disciple of Christ. It investigates how and why the Church recast her as a fallen woman, traces her story through the Renaissance when she became a goddess of beauty and love, and looks at Mary Magdalene as the feminist icon she has become today.
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Rating details

56 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 18% (10)
4 39% (22)
3 32% (18)
2 5% (3)
1 5% (3)
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