Perspectives on the Passion of the Christ: Religious Thinkers and Writers Explore the Issues Raised by the Controversial Movie

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Since its release on Ash Wednesday 2004, The Passion of the Christ has become a commercial success of astonishing proportions, already ranking as one of the highest grossing films of all time. At the same time, it has created a torrent of controversy and debate, provoking passionate responsesboth negative and positivefrom people of widely divergent backgrounds and beliefs. It has exposed fundamental differences of opinion and belief about everything from the historical truth of ...
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Overview

Since its release on Ash Wednesday 2004, The Passion of the Christ has become a commercial success of astonishing proportions, already ranking as one of the highest grossing films of all time. At the same time, it has created a torrent of controversy and debate, provoking passionate responsesboth negative and positivefrom people of widely divergent backgrounds and beliefs. It has exposed fundamental differences of opinion and belief about everything from the historical truth of the Bible to the political power of Hollywood.

Perspectives on the Passion of the Christ gathers together contributions from theologians, journalists, academics, and philosophers representing a wide spectrum of views and backgrounds. From the film's theological and historical underpinnings, to its cinematic and cultural implications, here is a balanced and thought-provoking exploration of the vital questions raised by The Passion of the Christ. Jews and Christians, evangelicals and agnostics, filmmakers and scholarsthe film elicits fascinating responses from all. Among others, Jon Meacham of Newsweek looks hard at the historical record and asks, "Who Really Killed Jesus" Rev. Susan Thistlethwaite asks why such an exceptionally violent movie has been embraced by so many conservative Christians and argues that The Passion of the Christ presents Jesus as a hero in a war movie; Rabbi Eugene Korn considers the movie's potential impact on interfaith relations; and Steve Martin offers an oblique comic view, from the perspective of a Hollywood insider.

Full of insight into a phenomenon that has raised so many burning and complex issues, this collection is the indispensable guide to understanding the cultural lightning rod that is The Passion of the Christ.

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Editorial Reviews

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No religious film in history has sparked more controversy than Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which has provoked debate about many elements of the Gospels. Perspectives on The Passion of the Christ offers widely divergent views of the controversies still raging about the film. Contributors include Newsweek managing editor John Meacham; professor of theology Dr. Philip Cunningham; New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier; and actor/comedian Steve Martin.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401359591
  • Publisher: Miramax Books
  • Publication date: 6/9/2004
  • Pages: 304

Table of Contents

Foreword
Who really killed Jesus? 1
The other Jesus : how a Jewish reformer lost his Jewish identity 17
Gospel truths : Hollywood, history, and Christianity 31
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much : assembling a Passion drama from the four gospels 49
The death of Jesus and the death of the temple 65
Numb struck : an Evangelical reflects on Gibson's Passion 81
The last station : a Catholic reflection on The Passion 95
The Passion and the message 111
Mel makes a war movie 127
Seeing different movies, talking past each other 147
Jesus of Hollywood 165
Commitment to community : interfaith relations and faithful witness 181
First take the log out of your own eye : different viewpoints, different movies 197
Selling Passion 211
Ad hoc scholars report 225
The worship of blood 255
Jesus nation, Catholic Christ 267
Epilogue : "script notes" 283
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