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3036Re: [neoplatonism] Agora: the movie about Hypatia

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  • John Dillon
    Feb 8, 2010
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      >> > 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? 
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      > 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.
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      > 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.
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      >   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.
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      > 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.
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      >> > Are Christians right to complain?  I suppose it depends on how and why
      >> > they do so.
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      > 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?
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      > <snip>
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      > 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.
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      > 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
      > them.
      >> >
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      > Michael Chase
      > CNRS UPR 76
      > Paris-Villejuif
      > France
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      That is a very fine riposte, Michael. I really must contrive to see this
      movie. JMD


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