n Journal of Literary Studies - Gibson's : flogging a dead horse : special topic :

Volume 21, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0256-4718



This article attempts to place Gibson's <I>The Passion of the Christ&lt;/I&gt; in a more objective context, by attempting to focus on the real significance of Gibson's film in the light of Christianity's theological import and its possible interpretation(s) for a contemporary Western world. In this regard, the film is evaluated from a number of interrelated perspectives, viz: Gibson's avowed intentions, historical accuracy, the known development of the canonical Gospels, the theological teachings of both contemporary and sectarian Catholics and most importantly, the phenomenon of the film itself.<BR>The author concludes that Gibson, who clearly views his faith through the mediation of often violent film imagery, rather than serious theological insights, has pandered to the needs of a cinema-going public that is largely incapable of responding to subtlety because it has become visually punch-drunk by so much celluloid brutality and technological special effects. As a result, this film undermines its own purpose of conversion to Christianity due to its message of hate, violence and bigotry. In addition, it has the potential to undermine any reconciliation between Jewish and Christian groups.

Hierdie artikel poog om Gibson se <I>The Passion of the Christ&lt;/I&gt; in 'n meer objektiewe konteks te plaas deur te fokus op wat die ware betekenis van die rolprent is in die lig van Christenteologie, en die moontlike interpretasie(s) vir 'n kontemporêre Westerse wêreld. Die evaluasie word benader vanuit verskeie perspektiewe, naamlik: Gibson se openlike intensies, geskiedkundige akkuraatheid, Rooms Katolieke akkuraatheid, kontemporêre Rooms Katolieke akkuraatheid en, dié belangrikste, die fenomeen van die rolprent self. <BR>Die skrywer kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat Gibson, wat duidelik sy geloofsoortuigings uitdruk deur dikwels gewelddadige rolprentverbeelding eerder as ware teologiese insig, gebuig het voor die behoeftes van die rolprentganger. Laasgenoemde is meesal nie in staat om bereik te word deur subtiliteit nie, omdat hy reeds visueel vuisvoos is as gevolg van soveel brutaliteit en tegniese spesiale effekte. As gevolg hiervan ondermyn hierdie rolprent sy doelstelling om die Christenboodskap te verkondig, deur sy eie boodskap van haat, geweld en dwepery. Verder het dit ook die potensiaal van enige moontlike versoening tussen Jood en Christen ondermyn.

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