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Wrestling with The Passion of the Christ: at the movies with Roland Barthes and Mel Gibson

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journal contribution
posted on 27.04.2017 by Walsh, Richard
Gibson offers his spectacle of Christ suffering as a reel sacrament. To do so, he writes the Hollywood passion hero and the legalistic Western Christian myth over Jesus, or lifts the sign of Jesus suffering into those mythic orders. In the West, as Gibsons success shows, this myth often masquerades as the nature of things. This myth transforms us into bastards who consume the suffering of others at a safe distance. We can confess this myth, as if it were a hierophany, or we can wrestle with it, exposing it as an interpretation. Copyright 2005 Richard Walsh. No part of this article may be reproduced by any means without the written consent of the publisher.


Date originally published



The Bible and Critical Theory, vol. 1, no. 2 (2005). ISSN 1832-3391