Pentecost and Mary Magdalene

Pentecost Sunday is May 23 this year. Growing up UU, I knew little about Pentecost until recently, when I decided to learn more about the Christian heritage of both Unitarianism and Universalism. Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples of Jesus, is considered to be the day the Christian church was born. The four canonical Gospels and Acts of the Apostles tell the widely accepted story of what Jesus said and how the church came to be. But there are other versions of that story, which were in wide circulation in the early years of the church. One of these is the “heretical” and long-lost Gospel of Mary Magdalene. What can this gospel tell us about the power struggles and specifically the suppression of women’s voices and influence in the early church. Can it help us access again some of the more “feminine” Divine Wisdom of Christianity which was so systematically silenced?