< br /> Restores to the forefront of the Christian tradition the importance of the divine feminine< br /> < br /> ? The first complete English-language translation of the original Coptic Gospel of Mary, with line-by-line commentary< br /> < br /> ? Reveals the eminence of the divine feminine in Christian thought< br /> < br /> ? Offers a new perspective on the life of one of the most controversial figures in the Western spiritual tradition< br /> < br /> Perhaps no figure in biblical scholarship has been the subject of more controversy and debate than Mary Magdalene. Also known as Miriam of Magdala, Mary Magdalene was considered by the apostle John to be the founder of Christianity because she was the first witness to the Resurrection. In most theological studies she has been depicted as a reformed prostitute, the redeemed sinner who exemplifies Christ's mercy. Today's reader can ponder her role in the gospels of Philip, Thomas, Peter, and Bartholomew--the collection of what have come to be known as the Gnostic gospels rejected by the early Christian church. Mary's own gospel is among these, but until now it has remained unknown to the public at large.< br /> < br /> Orthodox theologian Jean-Yves Leloup's translation of the Gospel of Mary from the Coptic and his thorough and profound commentary on this text are presented here for the first time in English. The gospel text and the spiritual exegesis of Leloup together reveal unique teachings that emphasize the eminence of the divine feminine and an abiding love of nature over the dualistic and ascetic interpretations of Christianity presented elsewhere. What emerges from this important sourcetext and commentary is a renewal of the sacred feminine in the Western spiritual tradition and a new vision for Christian thought and faith throughout the world.