It's Easter Sunday, so naturally I'm at Stanza on Haight (while my three daughters shop for the 8th grader's graduation dress at Wasteland, which for some is a religious experience) reading about our first feminist, Mary Magdalene, here:
The opening graf hooked me:
"The whole history of western civilization is epitomized in the cult of Mary Magdalene. For many centuries the most obsessively revered of saints, this woman became the embodiment of Christian devotion, which was defined as repentance. Yet she was only elusively identified in Scripture, and has thus served as a scrim onto which a succession of fantasies has been projected. In one age after another her image was reinvented, from prostitute to sibyl to mystic to celibate nun to passive helpmeet to feminist icon to the matriarch of divinity’s secret dynasty. How the past is remembered, how sexual desire is domesticated, how men and women negotiate their separate impulses; how power inevitably seeks sanctification, how tradition becomes authoritative, how revolutions are co-opted; how fallibility is reckoned with, and how sweet devotion can be made to serve violent domination—all these cultural questions helped shape the story of the woman who befriended Jesus of Nazareth."
Makes one wonder: if she was ALL THAT and the apostle to the apostles, why doesn't she get her own day? (As a saint, she gets a feast day, July 22, but that's not the same as Easter, now is it?)