Mary Magdalene

Philip C. Almond


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Cambridge University Press
1 December 2022
ISBN: 9781009221696
386 pages

From the publisher

Mary Magdalene is a key figure in the history of Christianity. After Mary, the mother of Jesus, she remains the most important female saint in her guise both as primary witness to the resurrection and 'apostle of the apostles'. This volume, the first major work on the Magdalene in more than thirty years, focuses on her 'lives' as these have been imagined and reimagined within Christian tradition. Philip Almond expertly disentangles the numerous narratives that have shaped the story of Mary over the past two millennia. Exploring the 'idea' of the Magdalene – her cult, her relics, her legacy – the author deftly peels back complex layers of history and myth to reveal many different Maries, including penitent prostitute; demoniac; miracle worker; wife and lover of Jesus; symbol of the erotic; and New Age goddess. By challenging uniform or homogenised readings of the Magdalene, this absorbing new book brings fascinating insights to its subject.