Mary Magdalene has been a figure of religious and artistic inspiration for Christians for over 2000 years. In the Bible, she is a disciple of Jesus and a key witness at his crucifixion and resurrection. In the Western Church her role and character changed and she became known as a penitent prostitute. In medieval art, she is often portrayed naked, covered only with her long hair. In more modern versions, she has been portrayed as the romantic partner and wife of Jesus. What is the truth?
Professor Joan Taylor of King's College is an expert in the field and shares her insights into some of the images of Mary Magdalene that we receive today. Get ready for a great discussion!
Professor of Christian Origins and Second Temple Judaism at King's College in London, Professor Taylor earned a BA degree at Auckland University, New Zealand, a post-graduate degree at the University of Otago and then went to the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem (Kenyon Institute) as Annual Scholar in 1986. She undertook a PhD at New College, Edinburgh University, and was appointed in 1992 to a position of lecturer (subsequently senior lecturer) at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, in the departments of both Religious Studies and History. In 1995 she won an Irene Levi-Sala Award in Israel’s archaeology, for the book version of her PhD thesis, Christians and the Holy Places (Oxford: Clarendon, 1993, rev. 2003). In 1996-7 she was Visiting Lecturer and Research Associate in Women’s Studies in Religion at Harvard Divinity School, a position she held in association with a Fulbright Award. She has also been Honorary Research Fellow in the Departments of History and Jewish Studies at University College London. She has taught at King’s College London since 2009.
Joan’s approach is multi-disciplinary; she works in literature, language, history and archaeology. She has written numerous books and articles in her fields of interest.