Mary Magdalen: Myth and Metaphor

Susan Haskins, Author
Susan Haskins, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $27.95 (518p) ISBN 978-0-15-157765-1
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Paperback - 502 pages - 978-1-57322-509-0
Paperback - 978-1-57322-519-9
Paperback - 518 pages - 978-1-84595-004-0
Open Ebook - 544 pages - 978-1-4464-9942-9
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A fascinating journey through history and its texts (poems, plays, paintings, films) to see the many images of Mary Magdalen. What Haskins emphasizes as she reveals how each era has fashioned Mary Magdalen according to its own specific interests and desires, is that these differing representations consistently negate Mary Magdalen's powerful position in Christ's ministry. From her gospel roles as Christ's chief female disciple and His apostle to the apostles (roles Haskins finds elaborated in Gnostic texts), Mary Magdalen has been transformed into the penitent whore. As such, she has become the embodiment of the sinful frailty and temptations of her sex. Thus, Haskins shows, the Western Church has used its images of Mary Magdalen to justify and perpetuate the subordinate position of women. The importance of Haskins's book is that it turns Mary Magdalen into a symbol for women's right to full participation in Christian ministry. Illustrations not seen by PW. BOMC, History Book Club, QPB selections. (Mar.)
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