Seeking "to discover whether Jesus' message of liberation had a word to say to me as a woman", Carla Ricci found the key in Luke 8:1-3, which mentions the women with Jesus at the outset of his public activity in Galilee, listed after the Twelve. This, she discovered, is a text the (male) exegetes have systematically ignored for 1900 years. She found a group of women who unswervingly followed Jesus - the only ones, when the male apostles and disciples fled - from Galilee to Jerusalem, through his passion and death, to be the messengers of the resurrection.
In all lists of women with Jesus, Mary Magdalene is placed first. She is one woman whom it has been impossible to ignore. And what has commentary made of her? A prostitute, by falsely associating her with the "sinful woman" of the previous episode in Luke. Ricci examines how and why this happened, in a fascinating inquiry into history and culture. So this is an inquiry into the real nature of Jesus' relationship with women, shown to be truly radical in the context of his time - and truly liberative. It rediscovers Mary Magdalene, and the "many others" who deserve to be remembered with her, as an essential component of the original "Jesus movement" and the early church.