During the last 10 years or so, I have placed my Mary Magdalene (whom I affectionately abbreviate as “MM”) work more and more on the back burner. Raising a child and weathering major life changes has that effect on one’s passion projects, and although I have no regrets about choosing where to focus my attention, I have felt a sense of loss around an avocation that I found so fulfilling.
I can’t say that my life now is any less busy or more stable than it has ever been, but I’ve decided that I could wait forever and never find a good time to re-engage in my MM studies and devotions. There is no time like the present. This is as good as it gets. I will fit it in wherever I can, shoe-horning as artfully as possible. Since 1998 it has been part of who I am, even when I’ve not been paying attention, and the time to pay attention once again has come.
Now, twenty years after first embarking on Magdalene.org, I am launching two new Mary Magdalene projects to better present all that I’ve learned and all that I am still learning.
The Magdalene Blog
Once upon a time, in addition to Magdalene.org, I maintained a blog called The Magdalene Review. It was, for the most part, a place to discuss my impressions of various references to Mary Magdalene and to share research. One thing I did not write about was my own spirituality, which is by nature quite esoteric. I have been concerned for years with how to reconcile my own spirituality with my academic interest, primarily out of a desire to assure readers that my spiritual beliefs do not influence my ability to be rational and detached when evaluating material.
In other words, my spiritual inclinations do not inform my research.
That said, my research DOES influence my spiritual expression.
I’m sure I will have more to say on this as time goes on and the blog unfolds.
The Magdalene Archive
Here is how I will describe The Magdalene Archive on its “About” page:
The Magdalene Archive is a documentation project with the goal of researching, collecting, and making publicly available a comprehensive, annotated, and searchable compendium of all knowledge related to Mary Magdalene.
The Magdalene Archive will conduct research and produce content using the most rigorous and secular approach possible. It endeavors to clearly distinguish between historical, legendary, speculative, cultural, and spiritual references, while maintaining a neutral stance where validity is concerned.
The Archive is intended to function as an artifact for use by future generations in tracing the influence of Mary Magdalene on world culture since her earliest mention.
THIS, my friends, is my life’s work. I kicked off a similar project on Magdalene.org back in the day called “Encyclopedia Magdalena,” but figured “The Magdalene Archive” would be easier to remember. It’s an ambitious project, and I have no expectation that it will be completed anytime soon. Back when I’d first started it as Encyclopedia Magdalena, I had over 600 entries planned, and only about 4 written. Now when I see that list I find myself wondering how some of them are even connected to Mary Magdalene, which means I will need to re-immerse myself in the sources I was so familiar with 10 years ago just to catch up to myself.
It’s daunting, but it is also the deepest and most honest truth of what I want to contribute to the world.
I hope you will join me as I get all of this rolling. I have always loved hearing from people who are also fascinated by Mary Magdalene, to learn what it is about her that moves them. So please feel free to reach out via the site contact form or by posting comments, and tell me:
Who is Mary Magdalene to YOU?