The Secrets Series

Secrets of Mary Magdalene
The Unforgettable Story of History's Most Misunderstood Woman
Dan Burstein and Arne de Keijzer


Jennifer Doll served as managing editor for this book, a role she has carried out for various other publications. Currently an editorial consultant for Reader's Digest, she has also contributed her writing and editing talents to McKinsey & Company, U.S. News & World Report, and The Teaching Commission. She was a researcher and editorial associate for Secrets of the Code. In her spare time, she's a fiction writer at work on her first novel.

Joan Acocella is a staff writer for The New Yorker, where she covers dance and books. She has also written for The New York Review of Books and The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of the critical biography Mark Morris (1993), Creating Hysteria: Women and Multiple Personality Disorder (1999), and Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism (2000). She also edited the unexpurgated Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky (1999) and co-edited, with Lynn Garafola, André Levinson on Dance (1991). She was a Guggenheim fellow in 1993-1994 and lives in New York city.

Tori Amos is a pianist and singer-songwriter who has helped redefine the role of women in pop music in the 90s. She is known for lyrically opaque but emotionally intense songs that tackle a wide range of subjects, including sexuality, religion, patriarchy and personal tragedy. Her father was a minister and she began her musical career at age 5 in his church. She was also the youngest person to ever attend the Peabody Conservatory of Music, until she dropped out to begin her pop music career. She published an autobiography Piece by Piece, in which she recounts her rise to fame and also explores her obsession with mythology and religion. She is co-founder of the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN).

Diane Apostolos-Cappadona is a cultural historian and Adjunct Professor of Religious Art and Cultural History in the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and Adjunct Professor in Art and Culture in the Liberal Studies Program of Georgetown University. She was guest curator and author of the catalogue for In Search of Mary Magdalene: Images and Traditions (2002). Additionally, she has authored essays related to Mary Magdalene, Christian symbolism, Leonardo da Vinci, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and the genre of art fiction for both scholarly publications and books relating to Dan Brown's novels. A popular speaker, Dr. Apostolos-Cappadona was interviewed for the documentary movie Secrets of the Code as well as a variety of television programs including the Today Show, A & E "MovieReal: The Da Vinci Code," Secrets of Angels, Demons, & Masons, and Secrets of Mary Magdalene.

Elizabeth Bard is a journalist and art historian based in Paris. Her art criticism and travel writing have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, Wired, Art News, and Time Out, among others. She has served as the New Media editor of Contemporary, a London art magazine, since 2002. In the spring of 2004, she also began working as a guide for Paris Muse, a company of art historians offering private tours of the great monuments of Paris. She wrote about taking The Da Vinci Code tour of the Louvre for the paperback edition of Secrets of the Code.

Lesa Bellevie, whose "day job" is a software test engineer, is the founder of and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mary Magdalene. The website, begun in 1998 as a way to collect everything she was able to learn about this New Testament figure, has served as a resource and forum for connecting people worldwide. was recently re-launched in 2005 with a new look and the foundations for a new project called Encyclopedia Magdalena. Bellevie has been frequently interviewed for local, national, and international newspapers and magazines, radio programs and television documentaries. Among her current projects is a blog called "The Magdalene Review" (, in which she tracks media references and recent research about Mary Magdalene.

Ann Graham Brock is an author and lecturer whose special interests include New Testament and early Christian traditions, archaeology, and gender issues in religion. Her most recent publication is entitled: Mary Magdalene, the First Apostle: The Struggle for Authority. She has also coedited five other books, and had scores of encyclopedia and journal articles published in German, French, and English. She has taught New Testament and World Religion courses at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Iliff School of Theology, and Harvard Divinity School and Harvard University. She has appeared on the History Channel in its presentation of "The Twelve Apostles," the Discovery Channel in "The Real Da Vinci Code," as well as several documentaries on British television.

James Carroll attended Georgetown University before entering St. Paul's College, the Paulist fathers' seminary, where he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees. Carroll has been a civil rights worker, an antiwar activist, and a community organizer. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1969 and served as Catholic chaplain at Boston University until 1974. During that time he published books on religious subjects and a book of poems. He was also a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter and won the first Thomas Merton Award. Mr. Carroll left the priesthood in 1974 to become a writer, and in 1974 was playwright-in-residence at the Berkshire Theater Festival and began writing novels (over time publishing ten). Mr. Carroll's other published works include House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power (2006), Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews (2001, adapted as documentary film, 2006), An American Requiem (National Book Award, 1996), weekly columns in the Boston Globe, and many essays, which have appeared in America's most prominent publications.

Bruce Chilton is Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College as well as Chaplain of the College and Executive Director of the Institute of Advanced Theology. He is a graduate of the General Theological Seminary, Columbia University and is an ordained Episcopal priest serving at the Free Church of Saint John in Tarrytown, New York. His books include Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography, God in Strength, Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography, Judaic Approaches to the Gospels, Revelation, Trading Places, Jesus' Prayer and Jesus' Eucharist, Forging a Common Future, and Jesus' Baptism and Jesus' Healing. He is also editor in chief of the Bulletin for Biblical Research and the founding editor of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament.

Richard Covington was a contributing writer to a U.S. News & World Report special report on "Women of the Bible."

Mary-Rose D'Angelo is Associate Professor in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. She teaches the course New Testament and Christian Origins and does research in religion, women and gender in the ancient world. Author of Moses in the Letter to the Hebrews she co- edited Women and Christian Origins and "Crossroads in Christology: Essays in Honor of Ellen M. Leonard" in the Toronto Journal of Theology. The author of additional articles on women, gender, imperial politics, theological language and sexual practice in the beginnings of Christianity, she is currently working on a project describing Roman imperial "family values" and ancient Jewish and Christian responses.

Jacobus de Voragine, an Italian monk, entered the Dominican order in 1244, and besides preaching with success in many parts of Italy, taught in the schools of his own fraternity. Attending various Councils he rose steadily in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, and was elevated to the rank of bishop in 1292. He died in 1298 or 1299, and was beatified by pope Pius VII in 1816.

Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has taught since 1988. An authority on the New Testament and the history of early Christianity, he has appeared on CNN, the History Channel, A&E, and other television and radio programs. He has taped several popular lecture series for The Teaching Company and is author or editor of thirteen books, including, most recently, Peter, Paul, and May Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend. He has also written Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code and the best-selling and critically acclaimed Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. In the Spring of 2006 he served as a consultant to the Gospel of Judas project at the National Geographic Society.

Deirdre Good, contributing editor to this book, is a professor in the Department of New Testament, General Theological Seminary, New York City. A widely published author and prominent lecturer, she is also a program consultant to television on religious history. She is editor of Mariam, the Magdalen, and the Mother, a collection of essays exploring the religious and prophetic identity of Mary Magdalen(e) and Mary, Jesus' Mother as Miriam figures. She is also editor of Reconstructing the Tradition of Sophia in Gnostic Literature and Jesus the Meek King, and contributed to Secrets of the Code.

Maxine Hanks Maxine Hanks is a writer, lecturer, and feminist theologian whose research areas are women's studies in religion, Mormon studies, and Gnosticism. She has been a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School and a Research Fellow with the Utah Humanities Council. Her first book, Women and Authority, reclaimed feminist theology and history in Mormonism. She has appeared in many publications and television programs as well as a guest lecturer at various schools. A former Mormon and LDS missionary, she became Gnostic in 1996 and has since been active in local and national interfaith projects.

Susan Haskins is an author, editor, researcher, and translator. She has given lectures around the world, appeared on various television programs to discuss Mary Magdalene, and is currently translating from Italian and editing Three Marian Writings (texts on the life of the Virgin by three sixteenth-century Italian female writers). She is the author of Mary Magdalen: Myth & Metaphor and editor-translator for Three Sixteenth-Century Marian Writings. She was also a contributor to Secrets of The Code.

Katherine L. Jansen is the author of the award-winning book, The Making of the Magdalen: Preaching and Popular Devotion in the Late Middle Ages (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000). She is also an associate professor of history at the Catholic University of America. A researcher in the fields of medieval history, Italian history, women and gender and religious culture, her forthcoming book is entitled, The Practice of Peace in Late Medieval Italy. Professor Jansen is a fellow of both the American Academy in Rome and Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence.

Philip Jenkins was educated at Cambridge University, where he obtained his doctorate in History. Since 1980, he has taught at Penn State University, and currently holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies. His most recent book is Decade of Nightmares: The End of the Sixties and the Making of Eighties America (2006). Other books include Mystics and Messiah: Cults and New Religions in American History, Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost its Way, and The Next Christendom: The Rise of Global Christianity. Professor Jenkins's articles can also be found in a wide variety of publications and he makes media appearances regularly.

Karen L. King is Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the Harvard Divinity School, where she has also held the post of Professor of New Testament Studies and the History of Ancient Christianity. Trained in comparative religions and historical studies, she pursues teaching and research specialties in the history of Christianity and women's studies. Her books have been widely acclaimed, the best known among them being The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle and What is Gnosticism? Her particular theoretical interests are in religious identity formation, discourses of normativity (orthodoxy and heresy), and gender studies. She has received many awards for excellence in teaching and research; among them are grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst, and the Graves Foundation.

Katherine Kurs is a member of the faculty of religious studies at Eugene Lang College of the New School University, and is also on the faculty of the General Theological Seminary. Her areas of specialization include contemporary American spirituality, urban-based religiosity, 'lived religion,' religious pluralism, and spiritual autobiography. The Rev. Dr. Kurs also is Ecumenical Associate Minister at West Park Presbyterian Church and she maintains a private counseling practice. Her book, Searching for Your Soul was named one of the best religion/spirituality books of 1999.

John Lash. Independent eclectic scholar John Lash, co-founder and principal writer of, is the author of four books, including The Seeker's Handbook, Twins and the Double, and The Hero. He sees in the figure of Mary Magdalene an opportunity to recover the genuine heretical features of Gnosticism. His forthcoming book, Not in His Image: Gnostic Vision, Sacred Ecology, and the Future of Belief will recover what Lash calls "the Sophianic vision of the Mysteries."

Ki Longfellow is a novelist and screenwriter whose book, The Secret Magdalene, has been widely praised for its research and writing style. Under the name "Pamela Longfellow" she has published two novels, China Blues (an international best-seller) and Chasing Women. Both were optioned and adapted for the screen. She has also co-written, with her husband, a comic opera called STINKFOOT, which was twice staged in London to glowing reviews.

Kathleen McGowan began her writing career as a teenage journalist. At the age of 21, she moved to Ireland to work as a reporter. During her time abroad, Ms. McGowan studied international folklore, mythology and the art of storytelling. She has been a ghost writer and editor on full length works of fiction and non-fiction and has also written in the fields of human potential, alternate therapies, spirituality and metaphysics. McGowan has worked for The Walt Disney Company in marketing, worked as a story analyst and script doctor, and has completed her own film as screenwriter and producer, Down to Gehenna. The Expected One is her first novel, based on twenty years of research and filled with previously unreleased information concerning the lives of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene.

Marvin Meyer is Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies at Chapman University and Director of the Chapman University Albert Schweitzer Institute. He is also Director of the Coptic Magical Texts Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Meyer is the author of numerous books and articles on Greco-Roman and Christian religions in antiquity and late antiquity, and on Albert Schweitzer's ethic of reverence for life. Among his most recent books are The Gnostic Discoveries, The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus, The Unknown Sayings of Jesus, and The Gospels of Mary. His book, The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, has been listed as one of the 100 best spiritual books of the 20th century. Most recently Dr. Meyer has edited and translated The Gospel of Judas, with Rodolphe Kasser and Gregor Wurst. His books and articles have been widely translated into and he is in frequent demand as a guest on national television and radio programs.

Elaine Pagels is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. She graduated from Stanford University and completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University. There she was part of a team studying the Nag Hammadi library scrolls, which became the basis for her best-selling The Gnostic Gospels, a popular introduction to the Nag Hammadi library. The book won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award and was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best books of the 20th Century. In 1982, Pagels joined Princeton University as a professor of early Christian history. Her New York Times bestseller, Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, focuses on religious claims to possessing the ultimate truth. In addition to a MacArthur Fellowship award, Professor Pagels is also a recipient of the Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships.

Jeremy Pine is an American antiquarian who has been based in Kathmandu, Nepal for 35 years. Specializing in antique textiles he has had the opportunity to examine and research thousands of old pieces including woolens, silks, and carpets. From 1993-95, Pine was Expedition Director for the Institute of Science in Moscow, and the State Institute of the History of Material Culture in St. Petersburg. In that capacity he led three expeditions to Tuva to excavate ancient tombs for the benefit of the Hermitage Museum. The last two years were spent in the little known and remote Valley of the Silver Mountain, or Mongün Taiga, just north of the Mongolian border. In 1995 the team, Golden Griffin, excavated a rare 35-meter diameter Pazyryk, a Scythian tomb they discovered the previous year. Married, with two children, Jeremy has recently retired from business to become full time curator of the Exile Carpet and its related treasures.

Nancy Qualls-Corbett is a practicing Jungian analyst in Birmingham, Alabama. A diplomat of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, she is a senior training analyst in the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. Nancy is the author of The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspect of the Feminine and Woman's Awakening: Dreams and Individuation. She combines her love of travel and mythology in leading seminars to the sacred places of Egypt, Greece, France, and Italy.

Anna Quindlen is the bestselling author of four novels (Blessings, Black and Blue, One True Thing, and Object Lessons) and four nonfiction books (A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Living Out Loud, Thinking Out Loud, and How Reading Changed My Life). She has also written two children's books (The Tree That Came to Stay and Happily Ever After). Her New York Times column, "Public and Private" won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Her column now appears every other week in Newsweek.

John Saul, who holds a Ph.D. in geology from M.I.T., joined forces with Henry Lincoln at Rennes-le-Ch&‌acirc;teau in mid-1974 to search for the "secret treasure" of Abbé Saunière in one of the limestone caves dotting the area. It took a good five years to realize that "Treasure" might be a code word designating a child or the children of Mary Magdalene. The author subsequently contributed to the research in preparing Holy Blood, Holy Grail but did not agree with the co-authors that Pierre Plantard should be used as a source of information. With Janice A. Glaholm, also a geologist, he compiled "Rennes-le-Ch&‌acirc;teau: A Bibliography" (1985), a 52-page book whose introduction included the map which for the first time showed the five natural high points in the area of Rennes-le-Chateau, forming a near-perfect pentagon.

Jane Schaberg is Professor of Religious Studies and Women's Studies at the University of Detroit Mercy. She is the author of The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene: Legends, Apocrypha, and the Christian Testament, a landmark work in feminist cultural and Christian Testament studies. She has also written The Illegitimacy of Jesus: A Feminist Theological Interpretation of the New Testament Infancy Narratives and her poetry has appeared in such journals as Atlanta Review, Appearances, Pittsburgh Review, and Interim.

Margaret Starbird holds a master's degree from the University of Maryland and has studied at Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, and at Vanderbilt Divinity School. In great demand as a leader of workshops and a commentator in the media, she has written extensively on the concept of the sacred feminine and sacred union. Her books - which Dan Brown acknowledges as major influences on his exploration of the same theme in The Da Vinci Code - include Magdalane's Lost Legacy: Symbolic Numbers and the Sacred Union in Christianity, The Goddess in the Gospels: Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine, The Feminine Face of Christianity, Mary Magdalene: Bride in Exile, and perhaps her best-known work, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail.

Merlin Stone, a teacher of art and art history as well as a widely exhibited sculptor, became interested in archeology and ancient religion through her art. She has produced pieces on the Goddess for both radio and the stage, and conceived and organized Goddess festivals in both New York and Toronto. Her book, When God Was a Woman, was the result of more than a decade of research, and has become a classic. First published in the UK as The Paradise Papers, it was re-published in the US in 1976 under the present title.