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Popular Culture and Philosophy #10: Mel Gibson's Passion and Philosophy: The Cross, the Questions, the Controverssyby Jorge J. E. Gracia
Synopses & Reviews
Mel Gibsons The Passion of the Christ has become one of the most controversial films ever made, and it is already a blockbuster of cinematography. Its defenders passionately regard it as one of the most moving and influential pieces of religious art ever created. But its detractors argue with comparable vehemence that the violence and gore it contains, its alleged anti-Semitism, a particular take on the Christian message, and the lack of historical and Biblical accuracy, make it nothing more than a kind of political propaganda. Father Thomas Rosica hailed as one of the great masterpieces of religious art, but the secular humanist Paul Kurtz thinks of it as a political weapon in the hands of the religious right. Film critics are divided in their judgment, giving the film anywhere from no stars to five stars. Regardless of what one thinks of the film, however, its impact both personal and social is beyond question.
Book News Annotation:
Philosophy scholars from US universities comment on Gibson's 2004 movie The Passion of Christ, which some people find moving and influential and others find anti-Semitic, historically and biblically inaccurate, and bald political propaganda. In 20 chapters they address whether Christ had to suffer violently, whether the movie is anti-Semitic, what the truth is, why Christ was killed, and who is morally responsible. Each chapter ends with questions for discussion.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson's spectacular film about the death of Jesus, has quickly become one of the most widely-viewed movies of all time—and one of the most fiercely vilified. It is more loved and simultaneously more loathed than any previous work of cinematographic art.
Some maintain that this film has brought them to a new faith in Christ or a deeper understanding of the faith they already had. Others criticize the work for its supposedly gratuitous gore, alleged historical inaccuracy, or its debatable theological assumptions.
In Mel Gibson's Passion and Philosophy, twenty philosophers with widely varying religious and philosophical backgrounds examine all the most important issues raised by the movie, without ridicule or rancor. How can we decide what God intended to tell us? Why do Christians and Jews apparently report seeing two very different Mel Gibson movies? Was Christ a pacifist? Does the film truly follow the gospels? How can we blame Judas for doing what God wanted him to do? Did George Hegel answer Mel Gibson 200 years ahead of time?
Few--including director Mel Gibson--were prepared for the firestorm of controversy that followed the release of the long-awaited "The Passion of the Christ." This timely collection of essays explores the film's questions in-depth and expands on its themes.
Few ? including director Mel Gibson ? were prepared for the firestorm of controversy that followed the release of the long-awaited Passion of the Christ. Reviled by many, but so popular with others that the film has become one of the top grossers of all time, The Passion has sparked intense debate everywhere from the mainstream media to churches and synagogues to the water-cooler at work. This timely collection of essays explores the film's questions in-depth and expands on its themes. Topics covered include why Christ was killed; whether moral responsibility is possible when God knows what's going to happen; the relationship between the film, anti-semitism, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the presence of women in The Passion; the influence of visionary nun Catheryne Emmerich; the meaning of Judas; and much more.
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