This new book came out Tuesday
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.
In The Quest for Mary Magdalene, historian Michael Haag presents Mary Magdalene as the woman at the center of Jesus’s life, a visionary and a radically independent woman. He explores how she has been used and abused and reinterpreted in every age, and he examines what she reveals about men and women, Jesus and God.
I placed this book under History Corner as haag does a great job in presenting the gospels as a hostorical refernce for who Mary Magdalene was, and how Jesus may have been tied into his world in different aspects. He also explains how the modern church was then based on the apostolic tradition, something I think a lot of kids are not truly understanding in today's modern religious education. If you are of a certain age and were Catholic, or went to Catholic school, that section woill make a whole lot of sense and you'll find yourself nodding along with Haag, Then he adds in the hostory and culture that lead into making of the modern church, and how Mary Magdalene roll in history shifted and changed. This part if the most interesting to me. Haag makes a valid correlation about how Societal influences at any given time influence how Mary Magdalene was perceived, If Jesus was alive today, would she be a Bonaroo girl, or a modern coed? It's something to think about!
With all of Hoags books (I think I've read just about all of them all), there is controversy, and this book is no exception. Some scholars dismiss his ideas, as do Christian leaders.But if there is one things we know history sometimes has clues in the oddest of places. Look at the new tombs being found in Egypt of previously thought lost Pharaohs, and you can understand how sometimes to keep digging may lead to the truth to be uncovered. If nothing else, the book will get you to thinking about the life of Jesus that we have no record of and how that ties into the gospels found in the desert caves that were not included in our modern bible. Haag's books always inspire me to head off and do my own research on the ideas he presents, and then make my own decisions. This book is no different and I urge you to check it out and consider another Equation you might not be aware of. After all, being informed means you can make a better scholarly decision, and that's always a good thing.
About the Author:
Historian and writer Michael Haag has written widely on the Egyptian, Classical,and Medieval worlds. He is the author of The Templars: The History & the Myth and Alexandria: City of Memory, a definitive study of Cavafy, Forster, and Lawrence Durrell in the city, as well as travel guides to Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt. He lives in London.