Would we drink coffee with Mary Magdalene?
Kristy: Okay, this suggestion comes from a colleague, who said if he could pick any historical figure to have coffee with, it would be her. She’s not the first person I’d pick, but I think I’d have coffee with her. I’m not sure I could turn down coffee with her, because what a great opportunity to fill in all sorts of historical mysteries, though on the other hand… asking the questions you’d need to ask could be really awkward. “So… tradition holds that you were a prostitute, but all the Bible says about you is that Jesus drove some unclean spirits out of you… what’s the truth there?” “Speaking of Jesus… you hitting that?” “So… The Davinci Code… what a pile of steaming crap, amiright?” (actually, I wouldn’t feel awkward about that last one at all) But yes, I would like to meet the woman, because I’ve suspected since the first time I read the Bible (yes, I’ve read the whole thing more than once, but I just skim the begats looking for interesting names) that the present perception of her, the folklorized version of her to drag out my dissertation for a second, is probably very different from the real woman. And I’d like to know what the real woman was like.
Cammy: I’m in. Like Kristy, it’s really a matter of how could I not? Strangely, I don’t feel any awkwardness in asking those questions (along with the “So, tell me, how do you feel about this all boys club image of Jesus’s road-crew? Was it really the He-man Woman-Hater’s-Club? Or is this something I should be blaming Paul/Faux-Paul for?”). And beyond this, if you get one of the most infamous women in the Bible to sit down for coffee, why not ask her general opinion of how the gender gets treated in the book over all. If anyone’s ever been entitled to an opinion on that subject, it’s her. Only thing that would be better is if we could rope the BVM into the conversation at the same time.