The Gospel of Mary

A Friendly Study Group

with David Curtis

Five online 90-minute sessions
Tuesdays: January 9, 16, 23, 30, and February 6, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Click here to register!

There is a gospel that is attributed to Mary, in which Jesus teaches that there is no such thing as ‘sin,’ other than what we create ourselves.

David Curtis, a Woodbrooke instructor, brings the ‘Friendly Group Study’ method to Quaker Center as a way to explore this short but powerful text together.

The Gospel of Mary reveals a radical re-visioning of Christianity from a woman’s perspective nearly 2000 years ago, yet its non-conformist approach seems surprisingly modern. An ancient text, but what does it mean to each one of us today?

The Gospel of Mary holds much in common with Quaker faith and practice, and combines well with the ‘Friendly Group Study’ method. This provides a safe, non-hierarchical way to explore the short but powerful text together, such that everyone’s insights and lived experience are equally valued.

Each week, we will use five set questions to reflectively consider and nurture our personal reactions to the gospel, and to share our responses in small break-out groups. The rich variety of our different viewpoints and interpretations is warmly encouraged – no need to always agree! For the first four weeks we will gradually look at the whole 8 page text using several translations. Then in the final session we reflect back over the whole gospel, asking how it relates to our own lives today.

Session 1, Tuesday, January 9: the Friendly Study Group Method
Session 2 Tuesday, January 16: tThe Gospel of Mary: the Historical Setting
Session 3, Tuesday, January 23: Mary’s Vision: The Liberation of the Soul
Session 4, Tuesday, January 30: Conflict and Authority in The Gospel of Mary
Session 5, Tuesday, February 6: The Gospel as a Whole.

David was Mallory scholar at Winchester College, studied Comparative Religion at Lancaster University, and is now Associate tutor at Woodbrooke Quaker College UK. Despite this academic background, he likes to take a more holistic approach to the Gospel of Mary, engaging with all aspects of self – emotional, rational, and spiritual. As well as having a thorough grasp on all the relevant academic literature, his growing understanding of the text is continually informed by such diverse tools as pilgrimage, non-violent communication, compassionate inquiry, yoga nidra and meditation.  

David is an active Quaker, but also has a long background in Tibetan Buddhism, and still regards Ringu Tulku Rinpoche as the person who has taught him most clearly about how to live a compassionate life. He is intrigued by the powerful notion of ‘holding difference’ – of seeing our diversity of human perspectives as something complementary and constructive, rather than competitive and contradictory.

His teaching style invites you to make your own relationship with The Gospel of Mary, to see how it might speak to you, in the hope that we might all learn how to cultivate peace in our hearts, to be released from whatever controls us, and to grow into our best potential as fully human beings. 

Click here to register!

All Quaker Center’s programs are Pay-As-Led. For our online series, there are three suggested tiers of contributions that we hope will help with your decision.
Full rate: $350
Standard rate: $250.
Reduced rate: $100.

“Then Peter said to Mary, ‘Sister, we know that you are greatly loved by the Saviour, more than any other woman. Tell us those words of the Saviour that you remember, the things which you know and we don’t, the teachings we never heard.'”
– from the Gospel of Mary