Mary Magdalene in Church and History

The reference article, Mary Magalene (ca. first century CE), was written by Susan de Gaia, and was published in Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture Across History, edited by Susan de-Gaia (ABC-CLIO 2019): Vol. 1, pp. 216-221.

It discusses views on Mary Magdalene in the eastern and western Christian churches, her sainthood, and the long-held but erroneous belief within western Christendom that she was a reformed prostitute and how that view was proven wrong and removed from Catholic doctrine.

The article also includes an overview of what are known to be historical truths about Mary Magdalene from original sources in and beyond the Bible, and a brief history of Mary Magdalene in popular culture, art, and folk religion.

Mary Magdalene continues to be a source of inspiration and sacred history for many professed Christians and others.



Riane Eisler

Riane Eisler

Riane Eisler, J.D., Ph.D., contributed two articles to the Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions:

“Relationship and Social Models in Scripture, Archaeology, and History” – in the Christianity section, and

“Spirituality and Gender in Social Context” – in the Spirituality section

Eisler is author of The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future. New York: Harper & Row, 1988. Her other books include:

Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future, co-authored with Douglas Fry, New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.

The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2007.

Educating for a Culture of Peace, with Ron Miller. Heineman Press, 2004.

The Power of Partnership: Seven Relationships that will Change Your Life. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2002.

Tomorrow’s Children: A Blueprint for Partnership Education in the 21st Century. Boulder, CO: Westview,  2000.

The Partnership Way: New Tools for Living and Learning, with David Loye. San Francisco: Harper, 1990..

Sacred Pleasure: Sex, Myth, and the Politics of the Body. San Francisco: Harper, 1996.