The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

  • by Jean-Yves Leloup
  • Narrated by Jacob Needleman, Gabrielle de Cuir, Stephen Hoye, Stefan Rudnicki
  • 6 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Perhaps no figure in biblical scholarship has been the subject of more controversy and debate than Mary Magdalene. Although she is discussed in the gospels of Philip, Thomas, Peter, and Bartholomew in the collection of writings known as the Gnostic gospels that were rejected by the early Christian church, there is no better insight into this mysterious and influential woman than Mary's own gospel.
The gospel text and the spiritual interpretation of Leloup together reveal unique teachings that emphasize the eminence of the divine feminine and an abiding love of nature over the dualistic and ascetic interpretations of Christianity presented elsewhere. What emerges from this important source text and commentary is a renewal of the sacred feminine in the Western spiritual tradition and a new vision for Christian thought and faith throughout the world.


What the Critics Say

"Less dualistic and more woman-affirming than the canonical quartet, the Magdalene's gospel might be embraced by contemporary seekers, both Christian and non-Christian." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very satisfying

Regardless of what you're looking for there is a very good possibility you can find it in this book.
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- Dave

Insightful look into early Christian Gnosticism

The audio book is the text of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and a commentary by the author. The gospel text is the surviving fragment of an apparently longer document that was lost over the centuries. The value of the book is not so much in the gospel text itself, which is available for free on the internet but in the commentary by the author which places the text in the setting of the Gnostic worldview in which it was written.

The canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were only four of many gospels that were circulated in the early Christian community. The various gospels took stories, collections of saying and other Christian oral traditions and reduced them to writing. These gospels were not neutral documents but were written from the perspective of a particular community or understanding of the Christian message. The gospels that have come down to us generally represent the perspective of the proto-orthodox (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and the Gnostic Christians (Thomas, Philip and Mary Magdalene). The author’s commentary takes the cryptic text of Magdalene’s gospel and breaks it open for the listener, so that it can be understood as an expression of the Gnostic worldview in which it was written.

The contemporary Christian often looks at the early years of Christianity and views it as a golden era of faith and a glorious march through history with little disagreement on the basic Christian teachings that have come down to us. The reality is that there was a great deal of confusion and disagreement on exactly what Christians believed. Gnosticism was one of the earliest interpretative filters of Christianity apart from what emerged as proto-Orthodox. The energy with which Church Fathers attacked it suggests that it was attractive to many people and influential in the Christian community. Leloup’s commentary on Magdalene’s gospel provides helpful insight into why Gnosticism might have been attractive to people of the first century.
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- Richard D. Shewman

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-15-2010
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books