This is the first comprehensive study on Mary Magdalene in those second and third century Gnostic texts in which Jesus' most famous female follower gains a prominent position.
Special attention is paid to the way Mary is presented in relation to other disciples, and to how her portrait pertains to gender imagery used in the writings. Detailed text analyses, based on a careful philological study, show that no uniform picture and use of the figure of Mary can be traced. Contrary to a common supposition, the book also demonstrates that the positive view of Mary displayed in the texts does not automatically imply a positive attitude towards women in general.
The work provides a basis for all further discussion of Mary Magdalene in the Nag Hammadi and related documents.
Antti Marjanen, Th.D. (1996), University of Helsinki, is working on the research project of the Academy of Finland on Gnosticism and Early Christian Culture. He has published extensively on the Nag Hammadi writings and Gnosticism.
Mit scharfsinniger Gelehrsamkeit und philologischem Geschick untersucht er die uns heute zugänglichen gnostischen Texte der ersten drei Jahrhunderte, in denen sich Maria Magdalena-Traditionen widerspiegeln, und macht sie für die fortlaufende exegetische, theologische und soziologische Diskussion fruchtbar.' Gesina Schenke-Robinson,
Theologische Literaturzeitung, 1997.
All those interested in the Nag Hammadi writings, Gnosticism, Manichaeism, gender studies, and the role of women in Early Christianity.