All lectures will be hosted at the Anderson Commons,
734 E. 200 South, in downtown Salt Lake City. The Andersen Commons is
a three-story brick mansion on the south side of 200 south (second from
the corner). There is a $5.00 suggested donation per lecture. Refreshments
will be available.
Call Dr. Owens at 581-0196 for further information, or
check our web site: www.gnosis.org/wgs.htm
Winter 2004 Schedule
The Feminine Mystery in Western History
Introduction to the history and myth surrounding
the woman known as Mary of Magdala. We begin with an
overview of the “spiritual landscape” of the first century,
and then turn to the story the Magdalen. What role did she play in early
Christianity? Which parts of her story are
historically verifiable, which are mythic? And which of the
two, history or the myth, is most true?
Woman, Sex, and Heresy in the
Formation of Christianity
February 4, 2000 at 7:30 PM
(This lecture is now
available in RealAudio format on-line --
The formation of orthodoxy during the first
four centuries of Christianity – and the views this orthodoxy held about
human sexuality and feminine nature – cast a long shadow across two
millennia of Western Culture.Tonight we examine how Mary Magdalene, the beloved disciple,
became a harlot….
Quest for the Grail:Feminine Mystery in the Middle-Ages
February 18, 2004 at 7:30 PM
(This lecture is now
available in RealAudio format on-line --
In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a
sacred myth of the Feminine was reborn and recast in bardic legend.What was the role of the Magdalen
in this seminal tradition?Was she at the center of a secret heretical tradition, as
suggested in recent novel, The Da Vinci Code?What role do the Knights Templar,
Alchemy, Kabbalah, and “secret guardians” play in the story?
Archetype of the Feminine: The Magdalene in Modern
3, 2004 at 7:30 PM
Our own time is experiencing a remarkable
resurgence of interest in Mary of Magdala, linked with hopes of
rediscovering a lost traditions associated with her name.Is there a two millennia old
secret still hidden and yet somehow accessible to our age?If so, who are its guardians?How do we find the code that
unlocks its secrets?And
what does interest in such questions tell us about the psychology and the
spiritual yearnings of modern culture?
of the Logos: A
Homily for the Day of Holy
Mary of Magdala
The figure of Mary of Magdala, also known
as Mary Magdalen, is both complex and controversial. She has remained a
mystery for a very long time and an object of difficulty for the Church
from the very beginning of Christianity. One question we receive from
those of mainstream backgrounds is why the importance of Mary Magdalen in
the Gnostic scriptures and our contemporary practice of Gnosticism.
The Gospel According to Mary
From the Akhmim Codex (Papyrus Berolinensis
8502). This codex preserves the most complete surviving copy of the Gospel
of Mary (as the text is named in the manuscript, though it is clear this
named Mary is the person we call Mary of Magdala). Two other small
fragments of the Gospel of Mary from separate Greek editions were later
also unearthed in archaelogical excavations at Oxyrhynchus in Northern
Egypt. Unfortunately, the extant manuscript of the Gospel of Mary is
missing pages 1 to 6 and pages 11 to 14 -- pages that included sections of
the text up to chapter 4, and portions of chapter 5 to 8.
The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the
First Woman Apostle by Karen King
The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is one the most surprising and delightful
of the rediscovered Gnostic texts. This excellent new print edition of the
Gospel of Mary of Magdala by the widely respected scholar Karen King is
the best authorative edition available. It incorporates translations
of the Coptic Gospel of Mary found in 1896 in Cairo, along with the two
small Greek fragments of the text found at Oxyrhynchus.
Included is a superb introduction along with extensive commentary on the
text and its implications for modern understandings of early Christianity.
Gospels by Elaine Pagels
For any reading program, this is the place to start. Pagels has
produced a popular classic, a book acclaimed for two decades by laymen and
scholars alike. You will find no better introduction to classical
Gnosticism and the Gnostic texts discovered at Nag Hammadi. The
combined reading of this book and Stephan Hoeller's text (see bookstore) will give an excellent
introduction to Gnosticism. Of course, after finishing The Gnostic
Gospels, you will also want to read Pagels recent book, Beyond
Belief (see bookstore).
The Resurrection of Mary
Magdalene: Legends, Apocrypha, and the Christian Testamentby Jane Schaberg.
A feminist appraisal of the
Magdalene's history -- and an excellent (if somewhat technical)
review of all canonical and apocryphal material related to her history.
Mary Magdalen: Myth
and Metaphor by Susan Haskins.
An excellent study
of the myth of the Magdalene in Western culture, with extensive review of
her representation in Western art and iconography. (The sections of
the text dealing with Gnosticism are poorly informed, but the rest of the
book merits attention.)
Woman with the Alabaster Jar by Margaret Starbird.
This book covers the "occult" legends
of Mary Magdalene as the consort of Christ. It gives an interesting
overview of the myths, and "conspiracy theory" behind the myths.
Material in the book should not be read as history -- but it gives a good
overview of a type of story told about the Magdalen.
Thursday, November 7th
–Hero with a Thousand Faces.Campbell defined a pattern
recurrent in the all the great hero myths of mankind.It is a myth of journey, trial and
Thursday, November 21st
– The Myth of Love.The
four volume series titled The Masks of God was Campbell
last of these volumes, Creative Mythology, Campbell beautiful
weaves his vision of the myth that nurtured our modern age: the myth of
Love. Follow the path of the troubadours, towards this holy grail…
Thursday, December 5th
– Myths to Live By.Do we
individually “have a myth to live by?”How does one find the road to the land of myth, and return with the
sacred boon of meaning?
All lectures are at 7:30 pm (and will start promptly). Come
and join us at the Jubilee Center (located on 309 E. 100 S. in downtown
Salt Lake City).You may call
Dr. Owens at 581-0196 for more information if needed.