The Magdalene Mystique

Living the Spirituality of Mary Today

Betty Conrad Adam

Nov/2006, 176 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819222312



The early Christians formed communities to follow the risen Jesus. One such community wrote down its gospel story, but sometime in those early years, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene disappeared.

In the late neneteenth century, it surfaced in the Cairo marketplace, and today, contemporary Christians are embracing the message of this Magdalene Gospel.

The Magdalene Mystique invites readers into the spiritual life of an actual community that celebrates Mary Magdalene as mystic and visionary, beloved companion of Jesus, and first witness to the resurrection. Following Mary’s gospel, the community seeks to embody an ethos of equality and justice.

With historic background based on the scholarship of prominent researchers including Karen King and Jane Schaberg, plus prayers, liturgies, and real-life stories, this is a powerful book for group study and private devotion.


Betty Conrad Adam, an Episcopal priest, is resident Canon Theologian at Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, and spiritual director of the Magdalene Community at Brigid's Place, a women's spirituality center.

"This graceful, insightful book shows how studies of Mary Magdalene can move us beyond old ways of thinking and worshipping. Adam gives us here a new form of spirituality that unites heart and head and hand, bringing us to a sense of connection that is deep and wholesome. I am eager to participate with her community in the interfaith services at the Rothko Chapel!" -Professor Jane Schaberg, University of Detroit Mercy, author of The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene
"This is a beautiful book by an author who understands the potential mystical function of religious studies scholarship, the comparative truths glimpsed ‘betwixt and between' the faith traditions, and the Magdalene energies of a spiritualized and truly reciprocal sexuality. Adam knows that we are all ‘trapped in a script we did not write,' and so she sets out, with her own spiritual community, to author-ize a new one, which is also, paradoxically, an ancient one. The result is good news indeed-the good news of the Human One, that is, a mystically conceived and globally connected divine humanity. In a world of pious terror, righteous nation-states, and religiously motivated violence, I can think of no better news than this." -Jeffrey J. Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, Rice University
"The author brings a wealth of historical and scholarly study to her book (she even includes three translations of the Coptic fragment of the Gospel of Mary!). The scholarship is brilliant and fascinating."--The Living Church, November 5, 2006
"What makes Adam's book different from others is its conversational tone, roundup of past research and legends, and a focus on adapting Mary Magdalene's spirituality for today's world." Houston Chronicle, November 2006
"This is a brief book, one that is easy to understand for anyone with an interest in portrayals of women in religion, especially in the Christian tradition."-KLIATT, March 2007
"This is an excellent book for those wanting to go beyond popular fiction and learn more about May Magdalene."--Church and Synagogue Library Association, July August, 2007
"This book has some very interesting points. The author gets a lot into the familial and community aspects of this ministry. You can see where some people are really searching for a much more fulfilling spiritual experience than can be found in traditional denominational trappings."-BVS Reviews, July 30, 2007
"This book is a deeply moving witness to the new phenomenon of women and men who are gathering together weekly to sing, pray and communicate, inspired by the profound study of the Gospel of Mary and the story of Mary Magdalene. Engagingly written, The Magdalene Mystique is the perfect guide to all those who seek to embrace the teachings of Mary Magdalene in their daily lives." -Esther de Boer (PhD), minister and New Testament scholar, and the author of Mary Magdalene: Beyond the Myth and The Gospel of Mary: Listening to the Beloved Disciple


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