An exciting and engaging book that will appeal not only to academics but to the film-viewing public, educated lay-persons and students. Not only will the book aid this audience in a greater appreciation of the film 'The Passion of the Christ' but perhaps more importantly it will enable the reader to distinguish between both the contents of the film and the contents of the Gospels and between the contents of the film and what may be historically reconstructed about Jesus. Furthermore the book will aid the reader to appreciate the contributions that the study of the Gospels and the historical study of Jesus can make to the discussion of the film 'The Passion of the Christ'. Jesus and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ is edited by Kathleen E. Corley, Oshkosh Northwestern Distinguished Professor and Professor of New Testament at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Robert L. Webb, an independent scholar living near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The other contributors are: Dr. John Dominic Crossan, Professor Emeritus of religious Studies at DePaul University, Illinois. Dr. Helen K. Bond, Lecturer in New Testament Language, Literature and Theology at New College, University of Edinburgh, UK; Dr. Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia, Canada; Dr Mark Goodacre, Senior Lecturer in New Testament at the Department of Theology, University of Birmingham, UK; Dr. Glenna S. Jackson, Associate Professor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio; Dr. Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University, Chicago, Illinois; Dr. Mark Allan Powell, Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio; Alan F. Segal, Professor of Religion and Ingeborg Rennert Professor of Jewish Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York; Dr. W. Barnes Tatum, Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Greensboro College, North Carolina; David J. Goa, Curator Emeritus at the Provincial Museum of Alberta and a Fellow of the M.V. Dimic Institute for the Study of Culture at the University of Alberta.
Is Mel Gibson's The Passion "pious pornography" or devotional artistry? The lead-off essays in this collection, by popular Jesus researcher John Dominic Crossan and British New Testament scholar Mark Goodacre, will remind readers that on this question, as with nearly everything connected with Jesus of Nazareth, scholars can be depended upon to disagree. For Crossan, The Passion presents a "vision of a savage God" animated by anti-Semitism (Jesus and his disciples are never shown wearing yarmulkes, whereas the Jewish leaders are). For Goodacre, the film can be seen as "an extraordinarily powerful vision" in which the anti-Semitic tendencies of Gibson's sources have been muted (Gibson presents the sympathetic figure of Simon as a Jew, though some traditional sources have identified him as a pagan). Unfortunately, the remaining essays in this book, by an even-handed assortment of scholars, rarely equal Crossan's and Goodacre's incisive arguments. Nearly all the writers concur on a few points: Gibson adds and subtracts freely from the gospel texts, and depends heavily on the 19th-century mystic Catherine Emmerich. Ultimately, they say, his work must be judged as art, not history. But these nuggets of insight are obscured by pedantic writing and wooden interpretations that rarely do justice to Gibson's own passionate, provocative filmmaking. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
With the surprising and long-lasting popularity of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, there is every reason to expect that this solid collection of 14 scholarly and well-argued articles about the film will receive attention as well. The editors have commissioned scholars from Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic perspectives from the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. In the first part, the film is examined as a complete viewing experience. John Dominic Crossan's "Hymn to a Savage God" presents a critical point of view, while Mark Goodacre offers a relatively positive spin in "The Power of The Passion of the Christ." The second part deals with the film's characterization and plot as well as the portrayal of Satan, the depiction of female characters, and the characterization of Judas. The third and final part examines artistic influences on the film, comparing it with previous Jesus films, classic artistic representations of the Passion, and Anne Catherine Emmerich's The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The first thorough investigation of the movie, this is highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.-John Jaeger, Dallas Baptist Univ. Lib. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Dr. Kathleen E. Corley is Oshkosh Northwestern Distinguished Professor and Professor of New Testament at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Robert L. Webb lectures in the Religious Studies Department of McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada. He is the executive editor of the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus (Sage) and of the monograph series Library of Historical Jesus Studies (a subset of LNTS, T&T Clark). He is the author of John the Baptizer and Prophet: A Socio-Historical Study (Sheffield Academic Press, 1991) and more recently the co-editor with Kathleen Corley of Jesus and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ: The Film, the Gospels, and the Claims of History (Continuum, 2004) and with John Kloppenborg of Reading James with New Eyes: Methodological Reassessments of the Letter of James (T&T Clark, 2007).
INTRODUCTION: KATHLEEN CORLEY AND BOB WEBB PART 1: THE PASSION AS A FILM VIEWING EXPERIENCE: RESPONSES TO THE FILM AS A WHOLE 1. John Dominic Crossan 2. Mark Goodacre PART 2: THE PASSION AS STORY: EVALUATING THE FILM'S CHARACTERISATION AND PLOT 3. The Flashbacks to the Life of Jesus - Robert Webb 4. The Betrayal of Jesus and the Death of Judas - Scott McKnight 5. The Portrayal of Satan and the Demons - Mark Allan Powell 6. The Portrayal of Mary and the other Women Characters - Kathleen Corley 7. The Portrayal of the Temple Leaders and the Jewish People - Alan Segal 8. The Portrayal of Pilate and the Romans -Helen Bond 9. The Trials of Jesus - Glenna Jackson 10. The Procession and Crucifixion of Jesus - Craig Evans PART 3: THE PASSION AS ART: CONSIDERING THE FILM'S ARTISTIC EXPRESSION 11. The Passion in Light of a History of Films on Jesus - Barnes Tatum 12. The Passion and the Use of Classic Works of Art - David Goa 13. The Passion and the Influence of Anne Catherine Emmerich's The Dolorous Passionof our Lord Jesus Christ - Robert Webb Conclusion - Kathleen Corley and Robert Webb