Miryam.Mary Magdalene and Jesus - Novel
Report of the book reading in the Nebbienschen Garden House, organised by the Frankfurt Artists Club on March 7, 99
"One of the key scenes of the novel is the one in which Yeshua and Miryam experience their sexuality as spiritual. They discover that God is also revealed in physical love""
Physical love as revelation of the divine
In Regina Berlinghof's novel Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene are a couple
By Martin Hempel
A novel assuming that Jesus Christ has a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene - combined with Brasilian rhythms - the visitors at the Nebbienschen Garden house enjoyed an exciting sunday morning.
The Frankfurt Artists Club had invited to a book reading by the author Regina Berlinghof. In the reading breaks Cid de Freitas (percussion) and Tavinho Tavares (guitar and singing) played South American sounds.
Jesus with weaknesses
Berlinghof, who spent her childhood in Frankfurt and studied law at the Goethe-university, read parts from her novel "Miryam. Mary Magdalene and Jesus". This is the story of the relationship between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, in the book called Yeshua and Miryam according to their Hebrew names. The extracts the author read depicted those character traits which the bible often withholds to the readers: human, emotional, with individual highs and lows. Yet Berlinghof waives any claim to give a new interpretation of the bible. "The book does not replace the bible. It is just a novel" said the 51 year old author after her reading.
One of the key scenes of the novel is the one in which Yeshua and Miryam experience their sexuality as spiritual. They discover that God is also revealed in physical love. Regina Berlinghof had a similar experience with a friend in Egypt which induced her to start writing. Since 1977 the author, born in Freiburg, has been writing satires, poems and stories. "Miryam" is her first novel.
The reading of the love scene between Miryam and Yeshua took the biggest part of the presentation: the enmity against the body by the "Christian" religion is a central aspect of the novel. In return the author maintains her concept of spiritual experience including sexuality. "Since I really love you, I truly love God", Berlinghof's Jesus says. "It was as if love dissolved the separation between body and mind."
Berlinghof gives the divine revelation in sexuality much space, frequently using stereotypes as "waves" pulsing through the body, the "endless" time the act subjectively lasts. Such well-known pictures depicted on a broad scale let the reader almost forget the explosive power of the scene: the plain fact that Jesus has sex with Mary Magdalene, and therefore has to redefine his view of God. Thus, the human traits which the characters have developed in the previous parts evaporate during the description of the "spiritual" act.
In other extracts Berlinghof read the protagonists seem to be much more individual and graphic: Mary worries that her son Jesus is overdue for marriage, Miryam does not find enough freedom in her marriage with Yehuda that she needs for her studies and understanding; finally Yeshua suffers from a deep inner crisis and complains that everyone is only expecting miracles from him without recognising the true, non-spectacular aim of his message. Berlinghof guides the reader into the everyday worries and problems of the biblical characters: the wish for self-realisation and the pressure to justify people's expectations.
"Mirjam. Maria Magdalena und Jesus" by Regina Berlinghof has been published by Verlag Dietmar Klotz; the book price is DM 48.00"
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