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The Secret Gospel of Mary Magdalene Paperback – 1 Feb 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; First Thus edition (1 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099507692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099507697
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 340,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Bold and moving" (Guardian)

"An assured tour de force of passion...the power with which it reclaims spiritual and sexual strength for women cannot be ignored" (Time Out)

"By her rich use of symbols and metaphor she transforms feminist cliché into something alive and moving" (Times Literary Supplement)

"A complex and highly original novel" (Sunday Times)

Book Description

Before, there were four Gospels - by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Now there is a fifth - the Gospel according to Mary Magdalene.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Thomas on 23 May 2008
Format: Paperback
I really looked forward to this book, and was disappointed on receiving it to discover that it is not the story of Mary revisited by Michele Roberts, but her previous book 'The Wild Girl', published under a new title. I feel rather cheated!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms. C. HARRIS on 13 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I hadnt read anything about Mary Magdelene outside of the Bible prior to buying this book.

I found it well written and with a degree of intellectual debate that brought to this subject, some food for thought, if not proof for all the theories. I enjoyed the counterbalane that the book brought with one of the main themes being that Mary Magdelen was a disciple, with Biblical text analysis by the author, to back this up. I found this idea refreshing and a good basis for on going thought and possible debate - and for me excellently well written ammunition to debate with my more traditional friends.
The references and interpretation of the Dead Sea scrolls as their content relates to Mary Magdelene, was fascinating and handled with a clear presentational style - that didnt feel forced nor slipped into hyperbole.
Her portrayal of Christ as someone who would have a woman disciple is one I have long thought of as authentic, as one fitting in with the other messages we get through more traditional means, of him.
Excellent read, I would highly reccomend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Bevan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 April 2011
Format: Paperback
If it's a faithful reconstruction of the Mary Magdalene of the Gospels you're after, this book will probably really annoy you. If, on the other hand, you're after a fictionalised account that draws on the hints and suggestions in the New Testament to construct a character who could help envision `a Christianity... inspired by women as much as by men' (as the author claims she has sought to do in her preface to this re-titled 2006 edition), then you'll probably enjoy it. Originally entitled `The Wild Girl' when published in 1984, it's about a Mary Magdalene who is a conflation of three women from the Gospels: the sister of Martha of Bethany, the spirit-possessed prostitute and the woman with the alabaster jar. Strong-willed and visionary, Mary is a woman who knows her own mind, but is drawn to Jesus both spiritually and physically as one who can help her find true meaning and true re-connection to God. As her relationship to Jesus deepens, she comes to be almost an archetypal woman seeking to transcend society's divisively rigid male and female roles - roles she sees united and blended in him, but which are divided once again after his death, almost from the moment Peter stands up as the fledgling movement's self-appointed (at least in this version) leader.

In Peter's world, Mary's status as the first witness to Jesus' resurrection seems to count for nothing, and the upheaval that results is mirrored by a titanic struggle in her soul during a three-day catalepsy. During this, she wrestles spiritually with complex emotions amidst a welter of symbolism and referencing - there are echoes of the Gospel of Thomas, for example, and the Gnostic Text, `Thunder, Perfect Mind'.
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