The Deification of Mary Magdalene

Feminist Theology 21 (2):145-154 (2013)
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Abstract

The past 25 years have seen an upsurge of interest in the figure of Mary Magdalene, whose image has been transformed through feminist scholarship from penitent prostitute to prominent disciple of Jesus. This article documents another, non-academic, interpretation of Mary Magdalene – the image of Mary as goddess or embodiment of the female divine. The most influential proponent of this view is Margaret Starbird, who hypothesizes that Mary was both Jesus’ wife and his divine feminine counterpart. The author suggests that feminist theologians/thealogians should be aware of this popular understanding of Mary; and consider what it is about Mary Magdalene as the sacred feminine/bride of Jesus/sophia that captures the public imagination in a way that other feminist christologies do not.

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