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Mary Magdalene and Many Others: Women Who Followed Jesus [Paperback]

By Carla Ricci & Paul Burns (Translator)
Our Price $ 19.55  
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Item Number 145816  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   237
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.49" Width: 5.34" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   0.72 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 1994
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800627180  
EAN  9780800627188  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This extensive study of Mary Magdalene and the "many other women" mentioned in the Gospels sheds light on how Jesus treated women. Ricci is surprised that so much that is known about these women is ignored by scholars who choose to turn the focus away from these loyal followers of Jesus.

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A scholarly attempt to pierce the silence of women in the NT  Dec 30, 2003
Mary Magdalene and Others: Women Who Followed Jesus is a scholarly work; as a layman reading this book, I found myself in over my head on many occasions. This is not a criticism of the book - frankly, I'm not really in a position to criticize the book at all. The methodology at work here is quite foreign to me, so all I can really do is to give my own impressions of this book from a Christian layman's perspective. Ricci attempts an exegesis of the silence of women in the Gospels, seeking to find traces of the invisible footsteps of women we can identify as having followed Jesus. Her primary focus is on three verses to be found in Luke's Gospel (Luke 8:1-3) wherein three women are explicitly named (Mary Magdalene; Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna). Through intense scrutinizing of these three verses (all the way down to the original Greek) and a detailed comparison with the mention of women in the other Synoptic gospels, the gospel of John, and to some degree the letters of Paul, Ricci attempts to identify the unspoken importance of women in Jesus' inner circle.

Certainly, Ricci has a tough row to hoe here. She is searching for many things that are not explicitly addressed or even acknowledged, reading between the lines to some degree in pursuit of her goal. I can't really follow some of her arguments, but a religious scholar would surely find a lot of data to analyze in these pages. For myself, I did come away with a much deeper understanding of the life of women in Palestine at the time of Jesus; I had never really realized just how proscribed a life women led at this particular time and in this particular place - they were basically property oftentimes valued below slaves. Jesus' acceptance of women around him and his own visible rejection of the lack of rights and opportunity for women strike a much stronger cord in me now; this knowledge also contributes to one's understanding of the outcry against Jesus' Gospel that ultimately led to his crucifixion and resurrection. Among the important facts Ricci emphasizes are these: a group of women did follow Jesus from Nazareth all the way to Gethsemane, only women followers of Christ stayed and witnessed the crucifixion while the male disciples fled en masse, and women - Mary Magdalene in particular - were the first individuals to witness Christ after his resurrection and were specifically asked by him to go and proclaim the good news to the disciples (who did not believe what the women were telling them). There may not be many references to women followers of Jesus in the New Testament, but Ricci draws out every bit of information and conjecture she can over the course of her study.

I would not really recommend this book to laymen because it is rigorous and complex. If you are interested in the story of Mary Magdalene in particular, this really isn't a very good source to tap into for that information. Certainly, one does learn a good bit about the controversial figure, but this is not really a book about Mary Magdalene at all - rather, Mary Magdalene and Others focuses on a detailed analysis of scripture in order to penetrate the silence concerning women in general. I would also mention the fact that Ricci does not undertake a serious study of Gnostic texts in her research; she does refer to a few selected Gnostic texts toward the end of the book, but those interested in learning what the Gnostics thought and believed about women's role in the ministry and Mary Magdalene's significance in this respect would do well to look elsewhere. This is an impressive book, but it takes a Bible scholar to truly understand and appreciate it, in my opinion.


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