The Meaning of Mary Magdalene by Cynthia Bourgeault
Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity

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Mary Magdalene is one of the most influential symbols in the history of Christianity—yet, if you look in the Bible, you’ll find only a handful of verses that speak of her. How did she become such a compelling saint in the face of such paltry evidence? In her effort to answer that question, Cynthia Bourgeault examines the Bible, church tradition, art, legend, and newly discovered texts to see what’s there. She then applies her own reasoning and intuition, informed by the wisdom of the ages-old Christian contemplative tradition. What emerges is a radical view of Mary Magdalene as Jesus’s most important disciple, the one he considered to understand his teaching best. That teaching was characterized by a nondualistic approach to the world and by a deep understanding of the value of the feminine. Cynthia shows how an understanding of Mary Magdalene can revitalize contemporary Christianity, how Christians and others can, through her, find their way to Jesus’s original teachings and apply them to their modern lives.

About Cynthia Bourgeault

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Cynthia Bourgeault, PhD, is an Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader. She is the author of several books, including Chanting the Psalms and Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening.

Author Residence: Eagle Island, Maine

Author Hometown: Philadelphia
Published July 22, 2011 by Shambhala Publications. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Meaning of Mary Magdalene

Spirituality & Practice

Many sincere Christians still think of Mary Magdalene as the prostitute in the Gospels who wept for her sins of lust and accepted Jesus as her master.

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Story Circle Book Reviews

Within the book's pages, Bourgeault personifies and explains the historical Mary Magdalene in three sections: Mary as Apostle, Mary as Beloved, and Mary as Unitive Wisdom.

Jan 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Meaning of Mary Magdalene...

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