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Publisher's Summary

Mary Magdalene is one of the most influential symbols in the history of Christianity - yet, if you look in the Bible, you'll find only a handful of verses that speak of her. How did she become such a compelling saint in the face of such paltry evidence? In her effort to answer that question, Cynthia Bourgeault examines the Bible, church tradition, art, legend, and newly discovered texts to see what's there. She then applies her own reasoning and intuition, informed by the wisdom of the ages-old Christian contemplative tradition. What emerges is a radical view of Mary Magdalene as Jesus' most important disciple, the one he considered to understand his teaching best. That teaching was characterized by a nondualistic approach to the world and by a deep understanding of the value of the feminine. Cynthia shows how an understanding of Mary Magdalene can revitalize contemporary Christianity, how Christians and others can, through her, find their way to Jesus' original teachings and apply them to their modern lives.

©2010 Cynthia Bourgeault (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about The Meaning of Mary Magdalene

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Forever Changed

Where does The Meaning of Mary Magdalene rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I can honestly say it is at the top of the list.

What did you like best about this story?

It was written by someone who has lived, studied and contemplated the topic for many, many years. The idea of the church being formed by "male, celibate monastics" caused a major shift in my perspective. This combination resonated with me as a major cause of movement away from the Beginning Church.

Which scene was your favorite?

I have celebrated the Mass for many years and today, it was different for me; it was different as a result of Cynthia's presentation of what "This is my Body" means. I am forever changed and eternally grateful....and I get it!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

This Is My Body is not what you think

Any additional comments?

This book is for those who are open to a new way of looking at Christ, women, Mary M and the Church. If you're a conservative Roman Catholic or Evangelical, I suspect you won't like her or this book unless the Holy Spirit is drawing you into a deeper love relationship with God. I caution the reader, though. Hold onto your hat. She will say things that might shake you up; she may say things that might upset you. But hang in there. LISTEN to what she says, take it in, pray about it. I confess I was ready, at one point, to put the book down and not pick it up. Truly. But today, after the 2nd reading of it, I deeply sense she is a modern day prophet worthy of your time to read or listen to what she has to say.

30 people found this helpful

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  • KA
  • 12-13-19

Great Book, even with the narrator

I almost didn't buy this book because of the negative reviews of the narrator. But after reading Cynthia Bourgeault's Wisdom Jesus, I just had to read (listen to) more of her brilliant work. The narrator isn't great. She's overly dramatic at times. But don't let that stop you if you are a fan of this author and of contemplative Christianity. Eventually the content of the work takes center stage, and the narrator isn't really that bad.

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Words insufficient to express my gratitude to the author...

...for bringing Mary Magdalene back to us in this 21st century and showing us the beauty and power of her silent reach into our times.

3 people found this helpful

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Well written, poorly narrated.

As usual, Bourgeault has written a thought provoking and well-crafted argument. I found this book challenging, frustrating, enlightening and an overall good "read"

This audiobook has one major drawback, though, which is narrator Gabra Zackman's reading of the material, which I find is not true to the spirit of Bourgerault's writing. Zackman's tone frequently adds a layer of snarkiness or "gotchya"-style provocative flare that the material does not warrant. I noticed this because I have read Bourgealts other books and heard her speak publicly about materials I have read and her own delivery of her work is markedly absent any flavor of that condescending "oh-I-went-there-because-I-like-pushing-the-boundaries" nonsense you pick up on in Zackman's reading (not to mention the fact that Zackman mispronounces the terminology at times).

This critique holds true of Zackman's reading of "The Heart of Centering Prayer" as well, which I read and a friend of mine listened too. Our experiences of that book were completely different as a result.

6 people found this helpful

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Not informative nor entertaining

I got this hoping to learn something new
Instead it was 7 hours of an op-Ed piece. I felt like I was listening to a term paper. I appreciate the author’s admiration and spirit but it was boring and I didn’t learn anything

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Very interesting, indeed

This book has opened my eyes a little more than they were before. It has peaked my interest too. I wish to learn more. I will learn more unless my heart breaks or something before I do.

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Both Scholarly and Heart-filled

Very well researched and resoned explanation of Mary's vital role at the heart of Christianity. An aspect we've been missing for far too long.

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Could not do go on.

Boring, annoying and hard to follow. Can’t understand how anyone gave it more than a 2. I have never rated a book below a 4 or 5.

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A lovely book

This is among a rare few books I did not want to end. Much transmitted and offered to contemplate and then to live. Thank you.

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Great Book.

Anyone who ever wondered about Mary Magdalene should read this book. For that matter anyone interested in true spirituality should read this book. There is great insight to a lot of my questions.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leigh
  • 11-15-19

Transformational

A superb book well balanced and interesting to see how the author deduced this stream of consciousness it is truly eye opening and a great book which will help us all to approach the esoteric future of Christ.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-10-19

Magical insight

Truth spoke to my heart and my knowing through every page. A life changing book that brought so many things together for me. Thank you Cynthia

1 person found this helpful

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  • RoseHill
  • 02-10-19

A Book Whose Time Has Come

Written with heart, intellectual vigour, courage and trust in the reader to be touched by its ramifications.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-06-20

beautiful, rich wisdom

I've read it, and listened to it and will continue to absorb the incredible wisdom Cynthia shares

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  • Naomi Brewster
  • 05-17-15

A model for heart centred living and loving

I thoroughly enjoyed this description of Mary Magdalene, the speculation of the nature of her relationship with Jesus and the 'project' of their love - of opening the heart and living with love at the centre of all that they did. Cynthia Bourgeault gives a compelling alternative reading of Jesus' mission which I find very appealing and something to aspire to. This breathes life into the events around biblical times and shows me how I can incorporate this wisdom into my own life.

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  • Marita
  • 04-25-21

Cynthia does it again

I can't write a bad review about Cynthia Bourgeault's work. I'm afraid I've become a groupie. She's a scholar, a master of the English language, and her turns of phrase just never fail to surprise me and blow me away. You could argue all day about her propositions in this book, but the brilliant thing is that she makes you think, and she opens your mind and heart to the spiritual (or as she calls it 'the imaginal') realm. And at the end, she bring you back to earth and reminds you of what's true and important. I recommend this book to anyone who is willing to have an open mind, and to delve more deeply into the 'imaginal' realm.