Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mary Magdalene

Today's talk on Mary Magdalene is now available under videos on my public person Facebook page:
Sunday July 15 we will meet at my office to discuss the role of women in early Christianity, with special emphasis on the curious case of Mary Magdalene. Immediately after the shift in consciousness experienced in 2002, a deep interest in and resonance with the teachings of Jesus emerged spontaneously. I began to read the four Gospels, as I was primarily interested in the direct teachings straight from Jesus, not interpretations via Paul, Peter, or others. I was struck by several observations that jumped out at me. First, Jesus was continuously exasperated with how poorly his male disciples understood his teachings, even though they were with him full time. And second, it seemed obviously important that Mary Magdalene had a huge role to play in the Christ story of the crucifixion (she was there) and the resurrection (she was there). Without thought I intuited that she was in fact the only disciple of Jesus who was fearless and who truly understood his teachings.
Over the next few years I read some of the Gnostic gospels, especially the wonderful Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary of Magdala. This latter text was originally discovered in 1896, but not translated into English and published until 1955. Reading the surviving excerpts from The Gospel of Mary of Magdala (available here: confirmed the intuitive knowing of the primacy of Mary in the Jesus story. In today's talk we will review this Gospel, as well as consider the role of women in early Christianity. How did Mary, the natural successor/primary interpreter of Jesus, get relegated to such a secondary role that by the 6th century Pope Gregory had declared her to be a prostitute, inaccurately conflating several other women in the Bible with Mary of Magdala? Why was the official position of the Catholic Church that Mary, the apostle to the apostles, was a prostitute and 'fallen woman' not rectified until 1969? And how did women, who appeared to play a pivotal role in the early church, become profoundly second class citizens in the Church, a travesty that continues until the present day?
The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene - Gnosis
The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene. Complete ancient text and explanatory material. Part of a vast collection of materials dealing with Gnosis and Gnosticism, both ancient and modern.


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