Monday, July 22, 2013

Philip Jenkins Spoils It All For You

To mark today's Commemoration of St. Mary Magdalene, Philip Jenkins decided to throw a wet blanket over most of what is said these days about our patroness.

His article is here.  We blush to admit that the general strategy appeals to us; the Scriptures, especially of the New Testament, really do need to be read in the order that they were written, starting with Paul's letters.  Failure to do this results (and has resulted, all through history) in some foolish ideas.

That said, we wonder if Jenkins isn't just a smidge too dismissive here.  In his effort to tamp down fantasies both feminist and Danbrownian, we worry that he may err in the other direction, and understate the significance of a character who plays a prominent role in the Resurrection narrative.  (In other words:  "Honey?  About that bathwater.  Turns out there was a baby in it.  Whaddaya know, huh?")

In any case, don't forget to sing Lauda, Mater Ecclesia (or this versionat Vespers today:

To Christ, arisen from the dead,
And Death's great Conqueror, as she pressed
His earliest sight she merited
Who loved Him more than all the rest.

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