Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson's Film and Its Critics

Overview

Record-setting ticket sales. Heated controversy. Sold-out viewings for church groups. And feuding critics. Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has grossed over $500,000,000 in the US alone, and it is still going strong. In Re-Viewing the Passion, experts from diverse backgrounds explore the film, its success and its controversy. Exploring The Passion through lenses such as film, history, feminism, art and literature, and incorporating viewpoints from Catholicism, Judaism and Protestantism, this is a must-have ...

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Overview

Record-setting ticket sales. Heated controversy. Sold-out viewings for church groups. And feuding critics. Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has grossed over $500,000,000 in the US alone, and it is still going strong. In Re-Viewing the Passion, experts from diverse backgrounds explore the film, its success and its controversy. Exploring The Passion through lenses such as film, history, feminism, art and literature, and incorporating viewpoints from Catholicism, Judaism and Protestantism, this is a must-have guide for discussion groups, film buffs, and anyone interested in the issues surrounding the film. The Passion has provoked millions to ask questions of their faith, the faith of others, and the movie itself, and this book is the tool that can help them find the answers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This collection of essays begins well, with three lucid and sobering chapters on the state of Christian-Jewish relations in the wake of The Passion of the Christ. But as the book wears on it demonstrates most of the pitfalls of academic punditry, from foggy jargon to half-baked scholarship. An essay on Gibson's artistic precursors grandly if vaguely promises, "The answer to the question `Why Caravaggio?' will have multivalent and multiple references from aesthetics, culture, gender, and theology," just before ending three paragraphs later. What could have been a fascinating statistical survey of viewers' responses to the film is rendered insignificant by the fact that it was administered online to what the authors admit was a nonrandom "convenience sample." A prominent Catholic critic of the film gives a tendentious survey of her conservative opponents in the media while barely acknowledging, let alone weighing, the impact of moderate and critical responses. And a few writers make unsupported claims that verge on the ridiculous. Evangelical reviewers may possibly warn Christian parents that violent films "can drive their children to crime"-but the author who makes that claim only quotes reviews suggesting that movie violence may lead to a general increase in crime, a far less surprising or specific finding. The light this book sheds on The Passion is scattered at best. (Oct. 27) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403968005
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/18/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,148,537
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

S. Brent Plate is an assistant professor in the department of religion at Texas Christian University. He is the author/editor of several books including Religion, Art, and Visual Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002) and is the managing editor of Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Jewish-Christian Relations: Reviewing Anti-Semitism * The Medieval Passion Play Revisited—Marvin Perry and Frederick M. Schweitzer

The Passion of the Christ and the Passion of the Jews: Mel Gibson's Film in Light of Jewish-Christian Relations—Yaakov Ariel

• Can There Be Jewish-Christian Dialogue after The Passion?—Steven Leonard Jacobs * Part II: Christian-Christian Relations: Reviewing The Passion in Christian Theological History

The Passion as Dynamic Icon: A Theological Reflection—Robert K. Johnston

• Celluloid Synoptics: Viewing the Gospels of Marty and Mel Together—Darren J. N. Middleton

Part III: Visual Theologies and Verbal Theologies: Reviewing the Image of Jesus

• Catholic Visual Piety and The Passion of the Christ—David Morgan

• On Seeing The Passion: Is There a Painting in This Film? Or Is This Film a Painting?—Diane Apostolos-Cappadona

• "Passion"-ate Women: The Female Presence in The Passion of the Christ—Gaye W. Ortiz

• Come and See: How Movies Encourage Us to Look at (and with) Jesus—Peter T. Chattaway

Part IV: Media Approaches to The Passion: Personal Devotion and Public Discourse

• Mel Gibson, The Scribes, and the Pharisees-Amy—Jill Levine

• Truth at Last: Evangelical Communities Embrace The Passion of the Christ—Neal King

• The Audience Responds to The Passion of the Christ—Robert H. Woods, Michael C. Jindra, and Jason D. Baker

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