3036Re: [neoplatonism] Agora: the movie about Hypatia
- Feb 8, 2010
>That is a very fine riposte, Michael. I really must contrive to see this
>> > But if the film perpetuates the stereotype that all Christians are
>> > fundamentalists, then, in a broader sense, doesn't it commit the very
>> > error it sermonizes against?
> M.C. It's not clear how a film that depicts one specific historical period
> could have anything to say about "all Christians" (even if it were not the
> case than the only exemplary male character - the prefect Orestes - is a
> Christian !
>> > While fundamentalist Christians do stereotype 'agnostics', there is a
>> > parallel mentality -- to which perhaps Mr. Almodovar falls prey -- which
>> > stereotypes Christians and Christianity.
> M.C. It's even less clear why Pedro Almodovar appears in this post: he
> had, as far as I know, nothing to do with this film.
> The problem is prejudiced
>> > thinking; no single group holds a monopoly on this. To put this even more
>> > strongly: when certain, highly visible, self-righteous intellectuals see
>> > themselves as superior to Christianity, they are mostly projecting their
>> > own 'fundamentalist' mentality onto others.
> M.C. That may be true: it seems true, in particular, of such militant
> atheists as Dawkins, Hitchens, et al. Yet it seems to me totally
> irrelevant to this film.
>> > Are Christians right to complain? I suppose it depends on how and why
>> > they do so.
> M.C. Perhaps. Does it also depend on whether or not they have actually
> seen the film? I suspect most of those who complain have not. I also
> suspect you have not. Topic for consideration: what is the relation
> between the "prejudiced thinking" you so rightly condemn, and the practice
> of condemning that which one knows only by hearsay?
> The point of the film is clearly not to denigrate *Christianity* - which,
> the last time I checked, is not coextensive with Cyril of Alexandria or
> with 5th century Alexandria - but to denigrate *fundamentalism*. But
> perhaps the director - Amenabar, not Almodovar - is wrong: perhaps the mob
> who pulled Hypatia from her carriage, stripped her naked, tore the flesh
> from her bones with seashells, and burned what was left of her, were *not*
> in fact fundamentalists, but were cultivated intellectuals who spent their
> time performing works of charity and discussing the finer points of
> trinitarian theology around a fine glass of Chardonnay.
> It would in fact seem difficult to argue that no brutal, violent Christian
> fundamentalists have ever existed (just as they have in every other
> religion in recorded history). If they did, however, then it would also
> seem hard to understand why it should be forbidden to make a film about
> Michael Chase
> CNRS UPR 76
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