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Book on The Passion

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  • Zeba Crook
    This came across another listserv I m on. What strikes me as interesting about it immediately is the range of scholars collected here in terms of where they
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 9, 2004
      This came across another listserv I'm on. What strikes me as
      interesting about it immediately is the range of scholars collected here
      in terms of where they sit on the proverbial liberal-conservative scale.
      I think that bodes very well for a balanced assessment. What's more,
      if the papers are unanimously critical of the movie, in their varying
      topics, then the variety of scholars will only strengthen that
      assessment, in my opinion.

      Cheers,

      Zeb

      ***

      BIBLICAL SCHOLARS ASSESS GIBSON'S PASSION IN BOOK TIMED FOR DVD'S RELEASE

      Contact: Claire England
      Continuum
      212 953 5858
      Claire@...

      July 8 2004 (New York) - Viewers of "The Passion of the Christ" know that
      the movie is an overwhelming assault on the senses but is it also an assault
      on the Gospels? Is it accurate? Or is that question relevant since Mel
      Gibson set out to make not a history of Jesus but a film that compels us to
      experience Christ's sacrifice?

      When the DVD of "The Passion" comes out on August 31, a new book will also
      be available to help readers answer these and other questions about the most
      controversial movie of the year.

      "Jesus and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ: The Movie, the Gospels
      and the Claims of History" from Continuum is the first analysis of the movie
      by an international team of leading Biblical historians and critics.

      Readers are guided by historical Jesus scholars who help distinguish between
      the contents of the film and the contents of the Gospels, and between the
      contents of the film and what might be historically reconstructed about
      Jesus. The book also places the movie in context as a work of art, assessing
      it alongside other portrayals of Jesus in different media.

      The contributors give thoughtful, factual assessments of the historical and
      scriptural accuracy of the movie, including the contribution made by
      non-gospel sources, particularly the nineteenth century Catholic nun and
      visionary Anne Catherine Emmerich. In his essay "Hymn to A Savage God" John
      Dominic Crossan comments:

      "In this film, about 5% comes from the Gospels, that is, the general
      outline and sequence of events; about 80% comes from Emmerich, that is, the
      details and characters that carry the best and the worst of the non-Gospel
      additions and expansions; and about 15% from Gibson, that is, everything
      that escalates the violence above that already prevalent in Emmerich.

      "If Mel Gibson were to receive a Best Director Oscar for this film, it
      could well be argued that Emmerich should get a Best Adapted (or should it
      be Original?) Screenplay. If accuracy or even courtesy were followed, the
      opening credit should read: A Mel Gibson Film, followed by Based on the Book
      by Anne Catherine Emmerich.

      "It is surely fascinating to consider that a magnificent publicity
      campaign has persuaded thousands of conservative, evangelical, or
      fundamentalist Christians to support enthusiastically an early twenty-first
      century film based only indirectly on the Gospels but directly on an
      historical novel from the visionary meditations of an early
      nineteenth-century Roman Catholic nun."

      "Jesus and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ" is edited by Kathleen E.
      Corley, Oshkosh Northwestern Distinguished Professor and Professor of New
      Testament at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Robert L.
      Webb, an independent scholar living near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The other
      contributors are:

      * Dr. Helen K. Bond, Lecturer in New Testament Language, Literature and
      Theology at New College, University of Edinburgh, UK;
      * Dr. Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at
      Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia, Canada;
      * Dr Mark Goodacre, Senior Lecturer in New Testament at the Department of
      Theology, University of Birmingham, UK;
      * Dr. Glenna S. Jackson, Associate Professor in the Department of Religion
      and Philosophy at Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio;
      * Dr. Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at
      North Park University, Chicago, Illinois;
      * Dr. Mark Allan Powell, Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran
      Seminary in Columbus, Ohio;
      * Alan F. Segal, Professor of Religion and Ingeborg Rennert Professor of
      Jewish Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York;
      * Dr. W. Barnes Tatum, Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Greensboro
      College, North Carolina;
      * David J. Goa, Curator Emeritus at the Provincial Museum of Alberta and a
      Fellow of the M.V. Dimic Institute for the Study of Culture at the
      University of Alberta.

      The 208 page book is a paperback original (ISBN 0-8264-7781-X) priced at
      $17.95. For further information, review copies or interview requests,
      contact: Claire England, 212 953 5858 claire@....
      --

      Zeba A. Crook

      Assistant Professor

      Religion and Classics

      2a Paterson Hall

      Carleton University

      1125 Colonel By Drive

      Ottawa, Ontario

      K1S 5B6

      613-520-2600, ext. 2276

      www.carleton.ca/~zcrook



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Bob Webb
      Zeb, Thanks for your interesting assessment. As one of the editors of this book, it was a conscious decision to select authors who represented a variety of
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 13, 2004
        Zeb,

        Thanks for your interesting assessment. As one of the editors of this book,
        it was a conscious decision to select authors who represented a variety of
        scholarly positions. We did this for a couple of reasons. We didn't want
        readers to reject the book out of hand because the scholars didn't represent
        their own position. Furthermore, we wanted a variety of opinions to be
        expressed. The authors do differ with each other.

        Perhaps when the book is out, there might be some discussion of it on this
        list. I'd look forward to it.

        BTW, in addition to helping to edit the book, I contributed to the
        Introduction and Conclusion. As well, I wrote two chapters: one on the
        function of the flashbacks in the movie, and the other on the influence of
        Emmerich's _Dolorous Passion_.


        Bob Webb.




        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Zeba Crook [mailto:zcrook@...]
        > Sent: Friday, July 9, 2004 7:33 AM
        > To: CrossTalk2
        > Subject: [XTalk] Book on The Passion
        >
        >
        > This came across another listserv I'm on. What strikes me as
        > interesting about it immediately is the range of scholars
        > collected here
        > in terms of where they sit on the proverbial
        > liberal-conservative scale.
        > I think that bodes very well for a balanced assessment.
        > What's more,
        > if the papers are unanimously critical of the movie, in their varying
        > topics, then the variety of scholars will only strengthen that
        > assessment, in my opinion.
        >
        > Cheers,
        >
        > Zeb
        >
        > ***
        >
        > BIBLICAL SCHOLARS ASSESS GIBSON'S PASSION IN BOOK TIMED FOR
        > DVD'S RELEASE
        >
        > Contact: Claire England
        > Continuum
        > 212 953 5858
        > Claire@...
        >
        > July 8 2004 (New York) - Viewers of "The Passion of the
        > Christ" know that the movie is an overwhelming assault on the
        > senses but is it also an assault on the Gospels? Is it
        > accurate? Or is that question relevant since Mel Gibson set
        > out to make not a history of Jesus but a film that compels us
        > to experience Christ's sacrifice?
        >
        > When the DVD of "The Passion" comes out on August 31, a new
        > book will also be available to help readers answer these and
        > other questions about the most controversial movie of the year.
        >
        > "Jesus and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ: The Movie,
        > the Gospels and the Claims of History" from Continuum is the
        > first analysis of the movie by an international team of
        > leading Biblical historians and critics.
        >
        > Readers are guided by historical Jesus scholars who help
        > distinguish between the contents of the film and the contents
        > of the Gospels, and between the contents of the film and what
        > might be historically reconstructed about Jesus. The book
        > also places the movie in context as a work of art, assessing
        > it alongside other portrayals of Jesus in different media.
        >
        > The contributors give thoughtful, factual assessments of the
        > historical and scriptural accuracy of the movie, including
        > the contribution made by non-gospel sources, particularly the
        > nineteenth century Catholic nun and visionary Anne Catherine
        > Emmerich. In his essay "Hymn to A Savage God" John Dominic
        > Crossan comments:
        >
        > "In this film, about 5% comes from the Gospels, that is,
        > the general outline and sequence of events; about 80% comes
        > from Emmerich, that is, the details and characters that carry
        > the best and the worst of the non-Gospel additions and
        > expansions; and about 15% from Gibson, that is, everything
        > that escalates the violence above that already prevalent in Emmerich.
        >
        > "If Mel Gibson were to receive a Best Director Oscar for
        > this film, it could well be argued that Emmerich should get a
        > Best Adapted (or should it be Original?) Screenplay. If
        > accuracy or even courtesy were followed, the opening credit
        > should read: A Mel Gibson Film, followed by Based on the Book
        > by Anne Catherine Emmerich.
        >
        > "It is surely fascinating to consider that a magnificent
        > publicity campaign has persuaded thousands of conservative,
        > evangelical, or fundamentalist Christians to support
        > enthusiastically an early twenty-first century film based
        > only indirectly on the Gospels but directly on an historical
        > novel from the visionary meditations of an early
        > nineteenth-century Roman Catholic nun."
        >
        > "Jesus and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ" is edited
        > by Kathleen E. Corley, Oshkosh Northwestern Distinguished
        > Professor and Professor of New Testament at the University of
        > Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Robert L. Webb, an
        > independent scholar living near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The
        > other contributors are:
        >
        > * Dr. Helen K. Bond, Lecturer in New Testament Language,
        > Literature and Theology at New College, University of Edinburgh, UK;
        > * Dr. Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of
        > New Testament at Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia, Canada;
        > * Dr Mark Goodacre, Senior Lecturer in New Testament at the
        > Department of Theology, University of Birmingham, UK;
        > * Dr. Glenna S. Jackson, Associate Professor in the
        > Department of Religion and Philosophy at Otterbein College,
        > Westerville, Ohio;
        > * Dr. Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious
        > Studies at North Park University, Chicago, Illinois;
        > * Dr. Mark Allan Powell, Professor of New Testament at
        > Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio;
        > * Alan F. Segal, Professor of Religion and Ingeborg Rennert
        > Professor of Jewish Studies at Barnard College, Columbia
        > University, New York;
        > * Dr. W. Barnes Tatum, Professor of Religion and Philosophy
        > at Greensboro College, North Carolina;
        > * David J. Goa, Curator Emeritus at the Provincial Museum
        > of Alberta and a Fellow of the M.V. Dimic Institute for the
        > Study of Culture at the University of Alberta.
        >
        > The 208 page book is a paperback original (ISBN
        > 0-8264-7781-X) priced at $17.95. For further information,
        > review copies or interview requests,
        > contact: Claire England, 212 953 5858 claire@....
        > --
        >
        > Zeba A. Crook
        >
        > Assistant Professor
        >
        > Religion and Classics
        >
        > 2a Paterson Hall
        >
        > Carleton University
        >
        > 1125 Colonel By Drive
        >
        > Ottawa, Ontario
        >
        > K1S 5B6
        >
        > 613-520-2600, ext. 2276
        >
        www.carleton.ca/~zcrook



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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      • Loren Rosson
        ... It may, however, be a superficial assessment. The blurb in Publisher s Weekly implies that Crossan and Goodacre alone offer any substance: For Crossan,
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 14, 2004
          Zeba Crook wrote:

          > What strikes me as
          > interesting about it immediately is the range of
          > scholars collected here
          > in terms of where they sit on the proverbial
          > liberal-conservative scale.
          > I think that bodes very well for a balanced
          > assessment.

          It may, however, be a superficial assessment. The
          blurb in Publisher's Weekly implies that Crossan and
          Goodacre alone offer any substance:

          "For Crossan, The Passion presents a 'vision of a
          savage God' animated by anti-Semitism... For Goodacre,
          the film can be seen as an 'extraordinary powerful
          vision' in which the anti-Semitic tendencies in
          Gibson's sources have been muted... Unfortunately, the
          remaining essays in this book, by an even-handed
          assortment of scholars, rarely equal Crossan's and
          Goodacre's incisive arguments...[their] nuggets of
          insight are obscured by wooden interpretations that
          rarely do justice to Gibson's passionate, provocative
          filmmaking." (7/12/04, p 60)

          Having read Crossan's review of the film months ago --
          which is itself a wooden (and sanctimonious)
          interpretation -- I'm pretty much going to be reading
          this book for Mark Goodacre's essay(s). Hopefully I'll
          be pleasantly surprised by some of the other
          contributors as well.

          Loren Rosson III
          Nashua NH
          rossoiii@...




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