The Struggle for Authority
Ann Graham Brock’s Harvard University dissertation turned into a highly acclaimed book called Mary Magdalene, The First Apostle: The Struggle for Authority. Brock’s ground-breaking work uncovers significant evidence that Mary Magdalene’s authority, leadership and even possible apostleship were downplayed in favor of raising the influence of the male apostleship. This is particularly seen in Luke’s portrayal of Peter. One of the foremost scholars of Mary Magdalene today, FutureChurch invited Dr. Brock to speak in Cleveland on its tenth annual celebration of her feast day. Ann Brock also contends that Dan Brown’s work, The Da Vinci Code, did very little for Mary Magdalene because it lacked any discussion of Mary’s role as first apostle and witness to the resurrection of Jesus and instead focused on her fictional role as wife and mother.
Particularly touching was Ann’s personal story of struggle in her particular Lutheran tradition (then Missouri-Synod), which bars women from the clerical life. Brock’s husband, who converted through her influence, was welcomed readily into Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri while she herself was denied entrance. Both later joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.