The issue here is not Jesus, but female sexuality and male violence against women in the here-and-now, founded in Christian theology’s female triumvirate:
- Garden-of-Eden Eve, man’s ‘temptress’, the source of his original sin.
- Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, who experienced immaculate conception.
- Mary Magdalene, a prostitute who was ‘saved’ by Jesus who taught her to redeem herself through a lifetime of penance.
The bottom line of this theological position is that sinfulness is ingrained in the female body and that women have an inbuilt sense of shame and men have an inbuilt sense of entitlement.
Any one who thinks that this is a ancient history should see The Magdalene Sisters:
They should read Magdalene laundries: UK women’s ‘fast settlement’ calls and watch this:
The effects of this theology live on in today’s women’s shelters.
One can accept that Jesus and Mary were actual people and these events happened, without being bound to any theological interpretation of them.
Over the past 20-30 years, feminist Christian scholars have researched this Mary from Magdala and discovered that she is nothing like the theological stereotype. More of this later.
This Good Friday, let us note simply:
During the Crucifixion, she stayed with Jesus while his male disciplines fled out of fear of being detained by Roman soldiers.
Jesus was charged with treason and killed because the Romans feared he would lead an uprising against them.
She stayed with his body, mourned his death and was present that evening when it was wrapped in a linen cloth and entombed.
NB The Magdalene Sisters was based on the documentary Sex in a Cold Climate (1998). Grimmer, monochrome. Equally gripping.
The lady in the featured image is a survivor of one of the Magdalene laundries. She appears in ‘Sex in a Cold Climate’. Unfortunately, I do not know her name.