This book is heavy going. And way overpriced, too! The subtitle tells us that the book is about the "Sexual Mystery at the Heart of the Christian Tradition".
The writer informs us that the Gnostic gospels (which apparently state that Jesus loved Mary Magdalene more than the other disciples) help reveal the hidden sexual union at the center of the Christian faith. This union is where the male and the female combine to form a perfect example of human love.
It's clear that the Catholic Church has taken much of mystery of sex out of the Christian faith. Not only is it supposed that Jesus never had sex or that he was never married, they also insist that his mother, Mary, remained a virgin all her life too!
Mary Magdalene is the opposite; it is assumed that she was a prostitute, that Jesus cleaned her up, and she became one of his disciples, after which she, too, stopped having sex as well. Or, as one popular book has stated, she became Jesus' wife and they had children.
This is not about that; the book is about the fact that Jesus, as he was fully human, must have experienced his sexuality (whether or not he ever had sex) so that our sexuality can be redeemed too. It's a valid point.
The problem is that book's arguments become so convoluted that I lose interest; I would rather just go and have sex!
Helen Of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore, which I have reviewed, is far more enjoyable. Hughes, too, in a much more subtle way in her book, hints at the loss of much of the female spirituality in modern religion (especially, though not just, in Christianity).
Although much-referenced, Mary Magdalene, like Helen of Troy, presents a popular icon of ideal femininity in a spiritual form: erotic, enigmatic and emblematic of something we can only imagine. We know almost nothing about these women; it's doubtful whether either of them actually even existed, at least not in the perceptions we have of them.