Impassioned debate

Published: March 2005

Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ stirred controversy long before its release on Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2004. The film’s singular interpretation of the Gospels, purported anti-Semitic spin, and overwhelming violence have all been the subject of wide-ranging discussion among theologians, film critics, op-ed writers, and viewers.

The executive director of BC’s Center for Christian-Jewish learning, Philip Cunningham, has been a voice in this discourse since early copies of the script were first circulated. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs and earlier this year organized a three-part Boston College symposium on portrayals of the Passion through history. He has also assembled, on the center’s website, an extensive list of links to resources for studying the issues raised by the film. Richard Blake, SJ, professor of fine arts and co-director of the film studies program at Boston College, has contributed a review to the national Catholic weekly America in which he evaluates not only the movie but the controversy it has inspired.

This feature was posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 and is filed under Ideas.
Writer: Nicole Estvanik