Mary Magdalene Reconsidered

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For centuries, Mary Magdalene was portrayed by the Catholic Church as a former prostitute.

A recent novel, “The Da Vinci Code,” portrays Mary married to Jesus and giving birth to his child. And there’s been a burst of scholarly books trying to determine the true identity Mary Magdalene. Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King analyzes “The Gospel of Mary,” a 2nd Century text that never made it into the New Testament canon. No hint of being a fallen woman, here Mary Magdalene is a forceful preacher, competing with male disciples for leadership in the early church.

Why is there so much interest in Mary Magdalene these days? Is it simply the result of a best-selling thriller? Or does Mary Magdalene raise basic questions about the way women are perceived in church and society?


Karen King, Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Harvard University Divinity School, author, “The Gospel of Mary of Magdala”

Lesa Bellevie, creator and webmaster of