10 March 2016
Jesus Christ Superstar did not do Mary Magdalene’s saucy notoriety any favours
Mary Magdalene should sue the Church for defamation. Never mind her being the apostle to the Apostles on Easter Day, since Tertullian in the third century her name has been synonymous with being a prostitute.
Yet she is not like other women in the Gospels who have “a bad reputation in the town” or weep at Jesus’ feet and wipe their tears away with their hair, or are caught in the “very act of adultery” or pour oil over Jesus’ head.
The first that we hear of Mary Magdalene is that she has seven demons cast out of her by Jesus. We are not told what these demons are but, given what people wrongly thought at the time, they could have been a stomach complaint, acne or a twitch. There is no suggestion they were sexual demons.
Jesus Christ Superstar did not do Mary Magdalene’s saucy notoriety any favours by giving her the song of the show – “I don’t know how to love him”.
Get instant access NOWRegister for 6 FREE articles per month
SubscriptionsSubscribe to The Tablet from just £19.99 quarterly
3 options available
Manage my subcription hereManage