Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene is one of the best-known figures in the Bible and has been a frequent inspiration to artists and writers over the last 2000 years. According to the New Testament, she was at the foot of the cross when Jesus was crucified and was one of the first people to see Jesus after the resurrection. However, her identity has provoked a large amount of debate and in the Western Church she soon became conflated with two other figures mentioned in the Bible, a repentant sinner and Mary of Bethany. Texts discovered in the mid-20th century provoked controversy and raised further questions about the nature of her relations with Jesus.

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  • Joanne Anderson No other episodes
    Lecturer in Art History at the Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London
  • Eamon Duffy 2 episodes
    Emeritus Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Magdalene College
  • Joan Taylor No other episodes
    Professor of Christian Origins and Second Temple Judaism at King's College London

Reading list

  • 'Noli me tangere' Mary Magdalene: One Person, Many Images
    Barbara Baert et al. (Peeters Publishers, 2006)
  • The Gospel of Mary: Beyond a Gnostic and a Biblical Mary Magdalene
    Esther A. de Boer (Bloomsbury, 2004) Google Books →
  • Saints, Sacrilege, Sedition: Religion and Conflict in the Tudor Reformations
    Eamon Duffy (Bloomsbury, 2012) Google Books →
  • Peter, Paul and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend
    Bart D. Ehrman (Oxford University Press, 2006) Google Books →
  • Mary Magdalene: Iconographic Studies from the Middles Ages to the Baroque
    Michelle A. Erhardt and Amy M. Morris (eds.) (Brill, 2012)
  • The Apocryphal Gospels: A Very Short Introduction
    Paul Foster (Oxford University Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • Mary Magdalene: The Woman Whom Jesus Loved
    Robin Griffith-Jones (Canterbury Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Mary Magdalene, the First Apostle: The Struggle for Authority
    Ann Graham Brock (Harvard University Press, 2003) Google Books →
  • Mary Magdalene. The Essential History
    Susan Haskins (Pimlico, 2005)
  • Mary Magdalene: Myth and Metaphor
    Susan Haskins (HarperCollins, 1993) Google Books →
  • Seeing Medieval Art
    Herbert L. Kessler (Broadview Press, 2004) Google Books →
  • The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle
    Karen L. King (Polebridge Press, 2003) Google Books →
  • The Making of the Magdalene: Preaching and Popular Devotion in the Later Middle Ages
    Katherine Ludwig Jansen (Princeton University Press, 2000) Google Books →
  • Mary Magdalene: The Image of a Woman Through the Centuries
    Ingrid Maisch (The Liturgical Press, 2002) Google Books →
  • The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene: Legends, Apocrypha and the Christian Testament
    Jane Schaberg (Continuum, 2002) Google Books →
  • Mary of Magdala: Apostle and Leader - An Amazing Rediscovery of a Woman in the Early Church
    Mary R. Thompson (Paulist Press International, 1995)
  • The Golden Legend: Readings on the Saints
    Jacobus de Voragine (trans. William G. Ryan) (Princeton University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • The Golden Legend: Selections
    Jacobus de Voragine (trans. Christopher Stace) (Penguin, 1998) Google Books →

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Programme ID: b0717j1r

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Auto-category: 270.1 (Christianity - History)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, Mary Magdalene has been a figure of religious, artistic and literary inspiration among Christians for 2,000 years.