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The Threat of Mary Magdalene as a Leader

A Bible and Beyond Discussion

Monday, October 24, 2022
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Presenters: Dr. Shirley Paulson and Dr. Ally Kateusz
Host: Hillary Barner

The Threat of Mary Magdalene as a Leader

Monday, October 24, 2022
Presenter: Dr. Shirley Paulson and Ally Kateusz

The Early Christian Text series on Mary Magdalene explores how Mary is an inspiration for men and women today, why Mary’s reputation was smeared in antiquity, and what was so special about her to Jesus. In this Bible and Beyond Discussion, we address the question about why it’s been so hard to admit Mary’s good reputation and leadership role. Even as far back as the writing of the Gospel of Mary in the second century, two of Mary’s fellow disciples had a hard time dealing with her leadership. Evidence of this difficulty shows up in the Gospel of Luke, if in a more subtle way. And centuries later, church leaders still found it expedient to cast Mary in the light of a repentant prostitute rather than the spiritually mature female leader that she was. The image of women as the quiet listener, learner, and repentant model for Christians continues to serve the patriarchal systems in many Christian churches. In this discussion, we consider whether there is more to the issue than a power grab and how a better understanding of Mary might revitalize the church or at least those who wish to follow Jesus today.

Texts used in this Discussion:

The Gospel of Mary

Available in  A New New Testament (Hal Taussig), The Nag Hammadi Scriptures (Marvin Meyer), and The Gospel of Mary of Magdala (Karen King), and online here.

This discussion is part of a “Focus on Mary Magdelene” series of videos, posts, and podcasts happening during October/November of 2022. Click to learn more.