Mary Magdalene: prostitute, disciple, wife of Jesus. Many labels have adhered to Mary Magdalene throughout history. Since the time of Pope Gregory I she has been defined by the church as a sinner of the flesh. Another legend claims that she and Jesus were married. This legend even goes so far as to suggest that the holy grail is indeed not a chalice, but a bloodline; the direct blood descendants of Jesus Christ (this legend is recounted in Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and in the more popular fictional texts by Dan Brown).
Whether or not the supposition that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were married has any validity, the restoration of Mary’s character from a position of disgrace, to a beloved intimate of Jesus as a disciple is profoundly important. Jesus honoring women, as well as men, as disciples establishes a more balanced harmony between women and men. Regardless if you have a religious background or faith, all of American culture is steeped in a common Biblical mythos. This mythos is generally patriarchal and creates a clear hierarchy between men and women, placing women in the subordinate position. Much of this relies on the assumption that men only can be leaders of the church as it is most commonly taught that there were only male disciples. The re-establishment of the female into sacred texts and cultural mythos is uplifting and rejuvenatory of the female spirit. [Read more...]