The Virgin Mary Conspiracy by Graham Phillips © 2005


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    The Virgin Mary Conspiracy  by  Graham Phillips  © 2005  Bear and Company (a new edition of The Marian Conspiracy)  ISBN  1-59143-043-7   280 pages  Paperback  $18.00 (U.S.)  $23.95 (Canada)

    Graham Phillips has written books on The Knights Templar, Atlantis, and Mary Magdalene.  In this book, which is a U.S reissue of The Marian Conspiracy published in the U.K. in 2000, he approaches one of the more popular of current topics (the Holy Grail of Christianity) from a slightly different angle than most current authors.  The current, popular, theory about the unorthodox interpretation of the meaning of the Grail is that it refers to the family Jesus – specifically his wife (Mary Magdalene) and any children he may have had.  Mr. Phillips approaches from the opposite direction.  He looks at the mother of Jesus as being “the container of the holy blood of Jesus,” which she must have been, since he was born of her.

    One thing I especially like about this book is that each chapter concludes with a clearly written summary of the major points which have been addressed, thus making it easy to review what has gone before.

    Much of the basic material covered by this author will be familiar to those fairly conversant with early Christian history, although his interpretations and conclusions may seem fairly to quite unorthodox.  There is no new information in here, but the background is laid out carefully and clearly.  The gradual evolution of Mary from a simple wife and mother of the first century of the Common Era into a being only slightly less divine than her son is examined, dissected, and re-assembled.

    Accepting the premise that the Grail refers to the sacred bloodline of Jesus, and the author’s assumption that his mother is the source of the legend (and not his wife, Mary Magdalene) leads the reader on a Grail Quest.  While journeying through this quest, Mr. Phillips sidesteps the “normal” site of Avalon (Glastonbury).  He looks further a field.  He finds his journey leading him to the island of Anglesey, which may have been the site of sacred Druid site replaced by a chapel built (allegedly) by Joseph of Arimathea.  Whether you accept these ideas or not, the story is fascinating and well-told.

    I’m not sure how well the scholarship and research going into this work holds up, not being a specialist in the field.  And I’m not sure about the connection between this subject and the search for the historical Arthur (although the connection to the Grail legend is fairly obvious).  Having said the above, I must admit that I enjoyed being taken along on this journey by Mr. Phillips.  He took me from the Vatican to Jerusalem to the island of Anglesey, off the coast of Wales, with small side trips.  Along the way he made me feel like I was with him, sharing the experience.

    The conclusions of the author may or may not be acceptable, or palatable, to everyone (or even to the majority of readers), but they should be responsible for stimulating thought and discussion.  That, in my opinion, is all anyone can ask.

     

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