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The Sacred Embrace of Jesus and Mary

The Sacred Embrace of Jesus and Mary

The Sexual Mystery at the Heart of the Christian Tradition

An examination of how the teachings of Jesus reveal the essential role of sexuality in spiritual growth and transformation

• Shows that Jesus did not come to redeem humanity from the life of the flesh, but to honor it as a spiritual path

• Uses Hebrew, gnostic, and early Christian source texts to reveal the true context of the words attributed to Jesus

• Explores the spiritual and physical relationship shared by Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Of all the major religions, Christianity is the only one that has utterly rejected sexuality as one of the many paths that can lead to enlightenment and salvation. But if Jesus was indeed “the Word made flesh” and serious consideration is given to the mystery of his Incarnation, is it reasonable that physical love would have been prohibited to him?

Drawing from the canonical and apocryphal gospels, the Hebrew esoteric tradition, and gnosticism, Jean-Yves Leloup shows that Jesus did not come to save humanity from the life of the flesh but to save the life of the flesh so that it would truly transfigure all people. Leloup explains that when Saint Paul said it was good to be without women, he did not cite any words of Jesus in support of this contention. In fact, Paul’s statement utterly contradicts the words of God in Genesis: “It is not good that man should be alone.” Leloup argues that the elimination of the divine feminine and sacred sexuality set in motion by Paul’s words does not reflect the true teachings of Christ, and that the transformation of Jesus into a celibate is the true heresy. His research restores Christ’s true human sexuality and shows it to be a vital part of humanity’s spirituality. Leloup contends that by understanding the sacred nature of the embrace shared by man and woman as a true reflection of humanity made in God’s image, Christianity can again become the powerful path of transfiguration Christ intended.
Choose a format:
  • Inner Traditions | 
  • 160 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781594771019 | 
  • February 2006
List Price $14.95
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Read an Excerpt


from Chapter 8

The Controversy Regarding Mary Magdalene: Questions and Answers


In none of the gospels is there any mention of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute. What is the origin of this image?
Certain Church Fathers, as well as certain gnostics, were--like Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code--endowed with a novelist’s imagination. It is a great pity that some of them used their imagination to degrade this beautiful image of the feminine, thereby degrading women in general. This has resulted in a Christianity without real women; there are only virgins, mothers, or whores. And because it is women... see more

More Books from this Author

About the Author

Jean-Yves Leloup

Jean-Yves Leloup is a theologian and founder of the Institute of Other Civilization Studies and the International College of Therapists. His books include Jesus and Judas, The Sacred Embrace of Jesus and Mary, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Gospel of Philip, and The Gospel of Thomas. He lives in France.

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