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The quest for Mary Magdalene: History and legend

Michael Haag

Summary

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.

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