Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Yes, More on Mel's Movie

I had promised myself I was done posting about Mel Gibson's 'The Passion
of the Christ,' but I ran across some good resources in my net travels
that I thought were worth sharing.

The Society for Biblical Literature's Website
currently has a few good articles about 'The Passion,' Jesus movies in
general and Hollywood's relationship with Religious films.

  • Biblical Scholarship and the Passion Surrounding The Passion of the Christ by Frances Flannery-Dailey "What is really at issue is not the historicity of Gibson's depiction, but the theological verity some consider it to possess."

  • Biblical Allusions, Biblical Illusions: Hollywood Blockbuster and Scripture by Nicola Denzey "Despite
    the claim of the majority of Americans that religion (by which most
    mean Christianity) is important, despite their claims to attend church
    services regularly, knowledge of the Bible is often confined to
    sound-bytes or pseudo-scripture. In this environment, Gibson must see
    The Passion of the Christ as vitally corrective."

  • Filming Jesus: Between Authority and Heresy by Paul V. M. Flesher and Robert Torry "Jesus
    films are about the meaning of Jesus, not about the reality of Jesus.
    While the depiction of Scripture, as well as the appeal to history,
    tradition, and theology, help authorize the scenes added into the film,
    it is the additions that impose their meaning upon Scripture and not

  • History, Hollywood, and the Bible: Some Thoughts on Gibson's Passion by Paula Fredriksen "For
    better and (probably) for worse, Christianity in America is mediated as
    much through popular media as through the traditions and institutions
    of our various churches."

  • Judas the Film: Storytellers Then and Now by John Dart "Starkly
    different from Gibson's experiment with Aramaic and Latin dialogue,
    Judas has Jesus conversing in contemporary English."

  • The Problem of the Cinematic Jesus by W. Barnes Tatum "In
    academic circles and within the SBL itself, there has been a surge of
    interest in cinema generally and in the Jesus-genre specifically. Not
    only are commercially produced Jesus-films used in classroom settings
    but entire semester courses are dedicated to them."

  • Teaching Film and the Bible  by Melody Knowles and Allison Whitney "If
    biblical movies are 'common memories,' then leaving them unexamined
    means that their power can overwhelm and even replace the text itself."

  • They also have a listing of Websites Focus on The Passion of the Christ

The  Boston College Center for Jewish-Christian Relations
has an excellent study guide called Resources on the Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of the Christ

Ok, I'm done. I promise to shut up about Mel for a while!

John W. Leys


The background image on this page is a Hebrew translation of the verse from Bob Dylan's song  It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), from which the title of this blog is taken. Translation courtesy of Yoram Aharon of Hod-HaSharon's page--found via YudelLine-- which has many Dylan lyrics in Hebrew.