Sunday, April 02, 2006

CNN Presents looks at two women at the heart of Christianity -- Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene, the most misunderstood and controversial of his disciples. This show reveals the historical reality of these two main archetypes of Christian womanhood, and examines how they are being reimagined today.

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Its not a new documentary ... I think I first saw it last year around Easter time ... but its actually a very good look at the history surrounding Mary Magdela, and Mary of Nazereth. They look at canonical Bible sources, as well as newer text from Nag Hammadi and other sources; they examine the social and environmental settings where the women grew up; in general, they paint a much more realistic picture of the only people to stay and witness Jesus crucifiction.

They discuss the recently discovered partial fragment of the Gospel of Mary, and the implications it raises for women's roles in Jesus church. They discuss the oft-overlooked fact that wealthy, powerful women financed and bankrolled Jesus travelling ministry, and they discussed the VERY real possibility that Mary's 'working girl' image is a basterdization of her roots in fishing villages, not prostitution, and she was a key financier of Jesus travels.

Its a fascinating documentary, and well worth a look, IMO. The role of the Marys in the early church in one that has been intentionally supressed throughout the millenia ... it wasn't politically expediant for earl Christian leaders to acknowledge that woment played an equal role to men in Jesus eyes, and so they disguised that fact. Its always worth stepping back and taking a second look ... I think the view you get is far more satisfying.


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