The Magdalene Gates

Review by Joey Madia

Over the years I have reviewed many books from Larson Publications, including those they publish on behalf of the Paul Brunton Foundation. I have never been disappointed. This publisher has an eye for quality narratives grounded in scholarship and a crucial spiritual insight, and their books are a balm for a sorely troubled world.

Having long been a student of the Gnostic Gospels (e.g., Thomas, Phillip, and Mary), the gospels of the Essenes, and other esoteric documents from the early centuries of Christianity, as well as the true nature of Jesus and those who knew him best, The Magdalene Gates was a book I was keen to read. It takes as its central plot device the uncovering of scrolls from a dig site in Turkey—scrolls that put Mary Magdalene center stage in Jesus’s life and offer spiritual guidance to both the book’s characters and well as the reader.

Mary Magdalene is one of the most contested, misrepresented, and misunderstood characters in the Bible. Many know her only through what they’ve learned from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar and the song “Alabaster Box” sung by CeCe Winans. In the Church’s schema of Jesus’s life, Mary Magdalene is the whore side of the Madonna/whore dichotomy completed by Mary Mater.

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Emerson and the Dream of America

“Daring to Be Audacious”

Reviewed by Joey Madia

As I write this review, the Republican party has just unveiled its new “Pledge to America,” similar to their 1994 Contract With America, which is an interesting and thought-provoking parallel to the title of this book, which, to me, is really two books in one, a notion I would like to explore up front and then move away from.

Richard Geldard, an internationally known expert on the writings of R.W. Emerson, shares his subject’s passion for the state of America, including what is wrong, ideas on how to fix it, and who is to blame. While I agree in theory with much of what Geldard says in chapters such as “A Call to a Nation,” “A New Great Awakening,” “America as Opportunity,” and “Wealth and Economy” I feel compelled to warn the reader that Geldard puts the blame squarely on the Right-Wingers and Republicans and paints what I feel is an overly optimistic portrait of what Barack Obama and his message of hope will do to change the trajectory of our country. Continue reading