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.
Mary Magdalene is one of the most influential symbols in the history of Christianityandmdash;yet, if you look in the Bible, youandrsquo;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 whatandrsquo;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 Jesusandrsquo;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 Jesusandrsquo;s original teachings and apply them to their modern lives.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In this formula that Christians recite as though on autopilot lie the secrets for healing our world, rekindling our visionary imagination, and manifesting the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. It’s an astonishing claim, but one that is supported by Cynthia Bourgeault’s exploration of Trinitarian theology—and by her bold work in further articulating the deep truth it contains. She looks to the ancient concept in light of the ideas of G. I. Gurdjieff and Jacob Boehme to reveal the Trinity as the "hidden driveshaft" within Christianity: the compassionate expression of the Uncreated Reality in creation.
Author: Michael Haag
Publisher: Profile Books
Release Date: 2016-03-17
Mary Magdalene is a larger figure than any text, larger than the Bible or the Church; she has taken on a life of her own. She has been portrayed as a penitent whore, a wealthy woman, Christ's wife, an adulteress, a symbol of the frailty of women and an object of veneration. And, to this day, she remains a potent and mysterious figure. In the manner of a quest, this book follows Mary Magdalene through the centuries, explores how she has been reinterpreted for every age, and examines what she herself reveals about woman and man and the divine. It seeks the real Mary Magdalene in the New Testament and in the Gnostic gospels where she is extolled as the chief disciple of Christ. It investigates how and why the Church recast her as a fallen woman, it traces her story through the Renaissance when she became a goddess of beauty and love, and it looks at Mary Magdalene as the feminist icon she has become today.
Author: Jean-Yves Leloup
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2002-02-01
Restores to the forefront of the Christian tradition the importance of the divine feminine • The first complete English-language translation of the original Coptic Gospel of Mary, with line-by-line commentary • Reveals the eminence of the divine feminine in Christian thought • Offers a new perspective on the life of one of the most controversial figures in the Western spiritual tradition Perhaps no figure in biblical scholarship has been the subject of more controversy and debate than Mary Magdalene. Also known as Miriam of Magdala, Mary Magdalene was considered by the apostle John to be the founder of Christianity because she was the first witness to the Resurrection. In most theological studies she has been depicted as a reformed prostitute, the redeemed sinner who exemplifies Christ's mercy. Today's reader can ponder her role in the gospels of Philip, Thomas, Peter, and Bartholomew--the collection of what have come to be known as the Gnostic gospels rejected by the early Christian church. Mary's own gospel is among these, but until now it has remained unknown to the public at large. Orthodox theologian Jean-Yves Leloup's translation of the Gospel of Mary from the Coptic and his thorough and profound commentary on this text are presented here for the first time in English. The gospel text and the spiritual exegesis of Leloup together reveal unique teachings that emphasize the eminence of the divine feminine and an abiding love of nature over the dualistic and ascetic interpretations of Christianity presented elsewhere. What emerges from this important source text and commentary is a renewal of the sacred feminine in the Western spiritual tradition and a new vision for Christian thought and faith throughout the world.
This work is an extended Eucharistic meditation inspired by the traditional biblical texts associated with the life of St. Mary Magdalene, known as the "Apostle of the Apostles" because the Risen Christ appeared first to her, and she announced his Resurrection to the apostles. It is designed to help readers learn from the inspiring example of Magdalene to enter more deeply into adoration and love of Jesus Christ truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. In telling the story of her profound conversion after a life so steeped in sin that the Lord had to expel seven demons from her soul, this book shows how Magdalene is a shining witness to the transforming power of an encounter with Jesus Christ, an encounter for her which blossomed into a life of adoration, meditation and prayer. Thus she is seen as the perfect biblical model for those who have encountered Christ, and who seek to deepen their life of adoration at the feet of the Eucharistic Lord. Adoration is essentially about love, and in the gospels there are few people who understood love as well as Mary Magdalene. Throughout the book the author draws out her profound secrets of love, through which the adorer can learn how to become ever more pleasing to the Heart of Christ. These pages will help many people find nourishment for their souls and discover anew the timeless figure of the "Apostle of the Apostles."
If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. Cynthia Bourgeault is a masterful guide to Jesus's vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teachings for yourself.
Author: Susan Haskins
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2011-09-30
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A dramatic, thought-provoking portrait of one of the most compelling figures in early Christianity which explores two thousand years of history, art, and literature to provide a close-up look at Mary Magdalen and her significance in religious and cultural thought.
Author: Jack Angelo
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-02-22
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
An in-depth study of the heart-centered teachings of Mary Magdalene • Explains how the Fourth Gospel of the New Testament, specifically the Gospel of Signs, is actually a direct transcription of Mary Magdalene’s oral teachings • Reveals Mary Magdalene as a gifted visionary teacher and the best qualified disciple to lead the Jesus movement after his death • Details how the Gospel of Signs outlines 7 key steps for personal transformation and healing The discovery and translation of the Gnostic Gospels have revealed Mary Magdalene to be a gifted visionary teacher and the best qualified disciple to lead the Jesus movement following his death. Yet, according to most scholars, only a few fragments of her actual teachings have survived. Sharing more than 20 years of research, inspired by a profound experience at the cave in southern France where Mary Magdalene is reputed to have spent her final years, Jack Angelo reveals that the Fourth Gospel of the New Testament, traditionally attributed to John, is actually a direct transcription of Mary Magdalene’s oral teachings. He explains how the Fourth Gospel was recast by more conservative members of the Jesus movement, such as Peter and Andrew, to hide Mary’s authorship and suppress her role as head disciple. Delving deeply into the many layers of meaning within the “Gospel of Signs”--the first 11 chapters of the Fourth Gospel which describe seven of Jesus’ miracles--he shows how Mary’s teachings outline seven key steps for personal transformation and profound healing. For example, the sixth sign describes the shamanic healing of a blind man when Jesus spits on clay and smears the paste over the man’s eyes. Angelo explains how the deeper meaning of this sign is about perceiving with the “eyes of the heart.” Beyond the beauty and simplicity of Mary’s wisdom for personal transformation and healing, Angelo also shows how Mary’s heart-centered teachings embody the resurgence of feminine energy that is vitally needed to restore balance to the psyche and health of humanity as well as to Earth.
Long maligned as a prostitute or a woman of questionable reputation, Mary Magdalene's murky story seems lost to the sands of time. Now a portrait of this enigmatic woman comes to life in the hands of an imaginative master storyteller. Diana Wallis Taylor's Mary is a woman devastated by circumstances beyond her control and plagued with terrifying dreams--until she has a life-changing confrontation with the Savior. Lovers of historical and biblical fiction will find this creative telling of Mary's story utterly original and respectful as it opens their eyes to the redeeming work of Christ in the lives of those who follow him.
Centering Prayer is the path to a wonderful and radical new way of seeing the world. It is not, as is sometimes thought, simply an act of devotional piety, nor is it a Christianized form of other meditation methods. Cynthia Bourgeault here cuts through the misconceptions to show that Centering Prayer is in fact a pioneering development within the Christian contemplative tradition. She provides a practical, complete course in the practice and then goes deeper to analyze what actually happens in Centering Prayer: the mind effectively switches to a new operating system that makes possible the perception of nonduality. With this understanding in place, she then takes us on a journey through one of the sources of the practice, the Christian contemplative classic The Cloud of Unknowing, revealing it to be among the earliest Christian explorations of the phenomenology of consciousness. Cynthia Bourgeault’s illumination of the Centering Prayer path provides compelling evidence of how important the practice has become in the half-century since it first arose among American Trappist monks, and of its maturation and refinement over the ensuing years of sincere study and practice. It will resonate with beginners on the Centering Prayer path as well as with seasoned practitioners.
An international news story when published last year, now in paperback: A historical detective story leads to dramatic and ground-breaking revelations about the life and times of Jesus. Waiting to be rediscovered in the British Library is an ancient manuscript of the early Church, copied by an anonymous monk. The manuscript is at least 1,450 years old, possibly dating to the first century. And now, The Lost Gospel provides the first ever translation from Syriac into English of this unique document that tells the inside story of Jesus’ social, family, and political life. The Lost Gospel takes the reader on an unparalleled historical adventure through a paradigm shifting manuscript. What the authors eventually discover is as astounding as it is surprising: the confirmation of Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene; the names of their two children; the towering presence of Mary Magdalene; a previously unknown plot on Jesus’ life (thirteen years prior to the crucifixion); an assassination attempt against Mary Magdalene and their children; Jesus’ connection to political figures at the highest level of the Roman Empire; and a religious movement that antedates that of Paul—the Church of Mary Magdalene. Part historical detective story, part modern adventure, The Lost Gospel reveals secrets that have been hiding in plain sight for millennia.