The life and legends of Mary Magdalene. "O woman with the wild thing's heart, Old sin hath set a snare for thee: In the forest ways forspent thou art But the hunter Christ shall pity thee." Those lines, from "Song For Mary Magdalene" by Patrick Pearse, form the starting point for Gerry McArdle's new four-part series about a saint who seems, only recently, to be coming into her own. Long lumbered, thanks to the machinations of some early Christian Church fathers, with the reputation of being either a prostitute or a repentant sinner, Mary is known either as the "tart with the heart" of Jesus Christ Superstar by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, or the glamorous seductress of many a Hollywood celluloid fable. Nowadays, thanks to a popular pulp novel, she is also seen by some as the wife/consort and mother of the children of Jesus Christ; and though the programmes don't wish to go the "Da Vinci Code" route, Dan Brown is a little bit like the elephant in the living room that can't be ignored. She was, in fact, one of the most important characters in the Gospel stories, mentioned by two of the evangelists as the first person granted the privilege of seeing the risen Christ. To all who would downgrade the role of women in Christianity, the figure of Mary says a very firm "No"! "Woman With The Wild Thing's Heart" explores Mary Magdalene in reality and myth, and enlists the aid of some very eminent scholars of theology and history to achieve its goals. Along the way, we'll hear contributions from Sean Freyne, Anne Thurston, Mary T Malone, Prof. Mary Grey and Marc Patrick Hederman, to name but a few. Even though these luminaries give us the benefit of their vast learning, the programmes aim to be popular and populist, entertaining as well as educational.

The life and legends of Mary Magdalene. "O woman with the wild thing's heart, Old sin hath set a snare for thee: In the forest ways forspent thou art But the hunter Christ shall pity thee." Those lines, from "Song For Mary Magdalene" by Patrick Pearse, form the starting point for Gerry McArdle's new four-part series about a saint who seems, only ... Show more

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