Peter M Howard ::

wintermute.com.au

The Passion Pre-Viewing

04March2004 [myth]
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ok, so I haven’t seen The Passion yet. But these are my comments before I do…

When I first saw the trailer I had reservations about the film, although I wasn’t entirely sure what my problem was. As the media noise got louder I realised - it’s the violence. I really am scared that the film will present too much violence - focussing on Christ’s suffering for us, rather than his love (as in “God so loved the world…”). While this conflict may not be an issue for a practicing Christian who understands the Faith, I fear that it may be a serious problem for the rest of the audience. Whether it’s people that are already antagonistic towards Christianity, or who are just confused/ignorant etc, this over-emphasis on violence may serve to reinforce some of the stereotypes of Christianity - as medieval, as forcing its views on others, as all about guilt or suffering.

That attitude - focussing on the guilt and suffering - is something I associate with certain american Protestant interpretations of Christianity, which can be very dangerous (particularly spiritually, but sometimes in other ways).

More on this later. I’ll have to watch the movie at some stage; and I want to come back and explore this ‘american interpretation’ comment.

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