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Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

Ridley Scott

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#21 Ryan H.

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 04:09 PM

Obviously in order for that to have any meaningful consequences they would then have to go out and find out more about Jesus on their own, but I don't hold it against the film that it doesn't provide the additional context in itself.

I do. But that's just one of many problems I have with Gibson's PASSION.

I'm not sure I understand. It sounds as if you're suggesting an all-or-nothing approach, as if a project that stops at Moses without getting to the Gospel doesn't have value.

Not at all. I'm just not convinced it has the value you've ascribed to it previously, since you've been speaking as though it's almost essential that we tell the Moses story again and again on film so that it's exists in the cinematic vocabulary of each generation (forgive me if that severely caricatures your own position, since it probably does, and so I'll hope you'll offer a nuanced re-statement of some of your comments). Suffice to say, that is not a position I hold.

As I said previously, my primary grudge over the film lies not in theological reasoning, but that I find another cinematic version artistically uninteresting, maybe even gratuitous. And I don't think there's such an immense cultural need for the story to be told retold cinematically that my qualms about its artistic viability are overridden.

Edited by Ryan H., 12 October 2009 - 04:11 PM.


#22 SDG

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 05:25 PM

I'll grant that maybe it is some kind of necessity for cultural awareness or such (even if I'm not quite convinced that's the case, and would sooner see the culture become acquainted with the original than some cinematic version of it, unlikely though that may be), but at any rate, it's something that I'll gladly skip unless the film demonstrates a really interesting new angle. I think the cinematic potential for the story has largely been explored.

And yet, here we are without a serious big-screen version of the story that we can enter into today as an audience and watch with a straight face.

Obviously in order for that to have any meaningful consequences they would then have to go out and find out more about Jesus on their own, but I don't hold it against the film that it doesn't provide the additional context in itself.

I do.

Why? Why can't a work present a fragment of a story that is fully meaningful only if you know the larger story, if potentially intriguing if you don't? (This feels like a subject that was recently under discussion in another thread, does anyone know where?)

I'm not sure I understand. It sounds as if you're suggesting an all-or-nothing approach, as if a project that stops at Moses without getting to the Gospel doesn't have value.

Not at all. I'm just not convinced it has the value you've ascribed to it previously, since you've been speaking as though it's almost essential that we tell the Moses story again and again on film so that it's exists in the cinematic vocabulary of each generation (forgive me if that severely caricatures your own position, since it probably does, and so I'll hope you'll offer a nuanced re-statement of some of your comments).

My bottom line is that I think a culture, certainly any possible version of our culture, in which the Exodus story doesn't ring any bells is to that extent impoverished relative to one in which the story has currency.

That doesn't necessarily mean retelling the story "in the cinematic vocabulary of each generation." Sometimes a single telling of a story is sufficient to endure many generations. No one needs to retell It's a Wonderful Life; the telling we have is quite sufficient. The Ten Commandments has not aged as well. The former I can and do watch every year; for the latter, once a decade or so would probably be plenty, and I could easily live with missing a decade or two.

The Prince of Egypt helped. But it's not such a definitive statement that no further statement could possibly help further.

As I said previously, my primary grudge over the film lies not in theological reasoning, but that I find another cinematic version artistically uninteresting, maybe even gratuitous. And I don't think there's such an immense cultural need for the story to be told retold cinematically that my qualms about its artistic viability are overridden.

I don't understand. On the one hand, you keep alluding to other versions of the story, as if we've already seen this story told so often and so well that another retelling would be redundant, yet on the other hand you suggest that the story doesn't really have anything to say to the world, which seems to suggest that we haven't heard the story told well at all. In any case, I don't think we've heard the story sufficiently, and a retelling for our day could only enrich our culture in its tenuous semi-post-Christian-ness.

Nor do I understand having qualms about the artistic viability of a film based on nothing but its subject matter. Any story that has ever been well told can be well told, and even stories that haven't been well told might yet be. That's the storyteller's job. Why should we assume he'll do it poorly? Maybe he will and maybe he won't, but I don't see the obstacle to a well-told version that is neither redundant nor gratuitous.

Edited by SDG, 12 October 2009 - 05:26 PM.


#23 Ryan H.

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 06:01 PM

Why? Why can't a work present a fragment of a story that is fully meaningful only if you know the larger story, if potentially intriguing if you don't? (This feels like a subject that was recently under discussion in another thread, does anyone know where?)

My issue is not with the artistic viability of such an idea, but rather a question of responsibility, and the care with which Christians need to present the Jesus story in a public fashion. I think Gibson's handling of the Christ narrative in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST was somewhat irresponsible.

The Ten Commandments has not aged as well.

It's undoubtedly dated. But I watch it every year, without fail, and still find it a cinematic benchmark worth revisiting. We'll never get a more iconic rendering of the story on film. It's that iconic power that ultimately stands in the way of future retellings having the same power.

On the one hand, you keep alluding to other versions of the story, as if we've already seen this story told so often and so well that another retelling would be redundant,

We have. But then again, I'm one of the guys who have seen all the TV versions that Peter threw out there not too long ago. They might not have been big screen, but they count as versions of the story, nonetheless. I've also seen the 1923 version of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and PRINCE OF EGYPT. So, yeah, I'd say this story has had more than its fair share of treatment, and while it's perhaps never received that "perfect" adaptation, I think it's been done well enough. Similarly, I don't think any of the Jesus films have been done perfectly, either, but I'm not clamoring for yet another cinematic take on Jesus' life.

yet on the other hand you suggest that the story doesn't really have anything to say to the world

Well, save through the Christian lens, I'm not sure the story does have too much to say to the world. As you've pointed out, it's helpful in laying context, but I'm not convinced that it will be able to do much more. Even if it is one of the foundational narratives in the Scriptural texts, there may be Biblical stories (or even non-Biblical stories) to bring to the screen that will speak to our culture more powerfully than the Moses narrative, even if they're less "significant" when one considers the broader theological framework of the entire Christian faith.

Any story that has ever been well told can be well told, and even stories that haven't been well told might yet be.

Well, it's a matter of where you stand on remakes. I don't believe in remaking good films unless you have a substantially different angle on it. Cinema is such an expensive and difficult medium, and there are so few big releases made these days that I'd rather see all that effort and cash go to stories that haven't yet been told, rather than ones I've seen brought to life four or five or six different times.

Anyway, my negativity has dominated this threat a bit too long. I'll stop now. :)

Edited by Ryan H., 12 October 2009 - 09:20 PM.


#24 MattPage

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 05:59 AM

Sheesh you guys. Way to explode a thread when I turn my back for a second!

I'm personally not crazy about this idea. Do we really need another Moses flick? Not particularly. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS is about as iconic and grandiose as you can hope to get with the story. I suppose you could go more "realistically" with things, but that's almost never an intriguing route.

Actually I really like the Burt Lancaster Moses the Lawgiver film/series which went that route.

MattPage wrote:
: This style would suit Judges so much better IMHO.

Yeah, that was my thought too. But who would want to make a movie in which our heroes conquer Palestine and conduct a campaign of ethnic cleansing?

We haven't had a live-action big-screen Moses in over 50 years (the Burt Lancaster, Ben Kingsley and Dougray Scott versions were all made for TV;

On Judges, this would only be a problem if the story was intending to be realistic, and the comic book genre is not really that. ANd even that's assuming there is no hyperbole in the Judges accounts.

On Moses the Lawgiver, it did have a cinema run though didn't it? I can never remember which title Moses/Moses the Lawgiver was the cinema one, nor can I remember how long the cinema edit was, but even if it was 4:3 Moses has still, just about , made it into cinemas once since DeMille.

I'd say there's certainly room for a new interpretation of the material. (Incidentally, the 1950s version of <i>The Ten Commandments</i> included a few nods to extra-biblical material, too, such as Moses' conquest of Ethiopia and his romantic involvement with the princess or queen thereof; you can read about that in Josephus, and possibly elsewhere.)

Indeed. I am heartened by the idea that this Moses may be a bit more linked to all that great Rabbinical material, which would make this something more steeped in Jewish storytelling. Sounds good to me.

Actually I suspect you'll be disappointed. The point I made on my blog was that DeMille also claimed to use ancient sources, but in reality that was a smokescreen for using other more modern works to flesh out the movie. I can't see this new movie doing anything more scholarly in that sense.

All of this you both know, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

#25 Thom Wade

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 07:27 AM

a Moses film doesn't sound particularly interesting to me from an artistic standpoint.


I am just imagining how many favorite movies of folks here at the Arts and Faith forum would have if movies were made based on my interest in them before they were made. Sorry, Jeffrey, no New World. :)

#26 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 09:28 AM

MattPage wrote:
: On Moses the Lawgiver, it did have a cinema run though didn't it?

It seems to have been fairly common back in the '70s and early '80s, or at least not uncommon, for TV mini-series and other shows to be released theatrically in condensed versions: Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage, Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot, heck even the original Battlestar Galactica. Moses the Lawgiver appears to have been one of these TV shows (according to the IMDB, it was broadcast in Italy in December 1974, broadcast in the USA in June 1975, and then released theatrically in March 1976).

#27 Persona

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 09:31 AM

Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage

Fanny and Alexander as well.

#28 SDG

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 07:11 AM

My issue is not with the artistic viability of such an idea, but rather a question of responsibility, and the care with which Christians need to present the Jesus story in a public fashion. I think Gibson's handling of the Christ narrative in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST was somewhat irresponsible.

Just curious, do you find it irresponsible because it didn't contextualize the Passion narrative, or for other reasons?

I don't see Christian artists treating the Passion being subject to some sort of responsibility to provide a set amount of context to make the story religiously intelligible to a given audience. I don't know where that responsibility would come from. If it's for other reasons, then fine, no further issues as regards the present subject.

It's undoubtedly dated. But I watch it every year, without fail, and still find it a cinematic benchmark worth revisiting. We'll never get a more iconic rendering of the story on film. It's that iconic power that ultimately stands in the way of future retellings having the same power.

Okay, so a new Exodus story feels less promising to you than to me because you're a lot more attached to the De Mille film than I am. Be that as it may, I think a new film could (whether it will remains to be seen) make the story vital to a lot of people who would find De Mille's version hard to sit through; and that would be a good thing in my book.

But then again, I'm one of the guys who have seen all the TV versions that Peter threw out there not too long ago. They might not have been big screen, but they count as versions of the story, nonetheless. I've also seen the 1923 version of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and PRINCE OF EGYPT.

So have I, as well as the 2000 NBC/Hallmark "In the Beginning" version and the 2007 computer-animated version. AFAICS, none of those makes the story vital for audiences today the way that, say, The Miracle Maker makes the Jesus story vital. Now there's a film that fills a gap. Wow. Our Easter season just would not be the same without it. This past year I showed it to my three (totally unchurched) nephews, and it made sense for them in a way that no other Jesus movie would.

So, yeah, I'd say this story has had more than its fair share of treatment, and while it's perhaps never received that "perfect" adaptation, I think it's been done well enough. Similarly, I don't think any of the Jesus films have been done perfectly, either, but I'm not clamoring for yet another cinematic take on Jesus' life.

See, I would always be interested in another take. If it weren't for The Miracle Maker and The Gospel According to Matthew, I would be very unsatisfied with the state of Jesus movie-dom. The Gospel of John is fine too, although on a recent rewatching I was more struck by its weaknesses than on previous viewings.

Now, what I think we can definitely use is another Christmas story alternative to The Nativity Story. I'll take it cuz we've got nothing else, but the Magi get old real fast.

Well, it's a matter of where you stand on remakes. I don't believe in remaking good films unless you have a substantially different angle on it. Cinema is such an expensive and difficult medium, and there are so few big releases made these days that I'd rather see all that effort and cash go to stories that haven't yet been told, rather than ones I've seen brought to life four or five or six different times.

So few big releases? Really?

I guess for me it depends on WHY a remake. Hollywood cranks out lots of soulless remakes every year for no other reason than that filmmakers want an established brand with a built-in audience and they lack the inspiration or daring to do something new. Lame. But I'm not against remakes per se, only soulless remakes. As a lover of mythology, I enjoy different takes on the same story. I always want to see another version. If the filmmakers' creativity is engaged by taking a different approach to a familiar story, and that's the reason for the remake, then I want to see it.

Compare Martin Campbell's adaptation-remake Casino Royale to the original story Quantum of Solace. Or Charles Sturridge's adaptation-remake Lassie to the original story G-Force. Etc.

#29 Thom Wade

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 07:28 AM

My issue is not with the artistic viability of such an idea, but rather a question of responsibility, and the care with which Christians need to present the Jesus story in a public fashion. I think Gibson's handling of the Christ narrative in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST was somewhat irresponsible.

Just curious, do you find it irresponsible because it didn't contextualize the Passion narrative, or for other reasons?


Honestly, the main issue for me is that the death and sacrifice of Christ has little value or impact without the life. So, to me, the Passion was about as meaningful as, say, Saw, with less character...

I guess for me it depends on WHY a remake. Hollywood cranks out lots of soulless remakes every year for no other reason than that filmmakers want an established brand with a built-in audience and they lack the inspiration or daring to do something new. Lame.


But then they go and make something like the recent Friday the 13-oh wait, that backs up your first point... ;)

But I agree that I don't have an inherent opposition to remakes...which is why i get more tired of blanket condemnations of remakes than I do of remakes themselves. Plus, I do not buy that the "remake syndrome" is new or worse than it has ever been. Cinema-worldwide, not just Hollywood- has gotten by on re-makes and rip offs pretty much since the inception of the medium.

#30 SDG

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 08:38 AM

Honestly, the main issue for me is that the death and sacrifice of Christ has little value or impact without the life. So, to me, the Passion was about as meaningful as, say, Saw, with less character...

Which, I think, may itself reflect cultural differences as much as anything. TPOTC speaks from a milieu that finds the whole Gospel in the Stations of the Cross, the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and even a lone crucifix. (I say "speaks from," not "speaks to"; clearly the movie was well received by a great many people who have no use for rosaries and crucifixes. A movie can speak from a particular milieu without being limited to speaking only to those who share that milieu; Into Great Silence is another example of that phenomenon. Neither film, of course, speaks to everyone ... but I don't think it constitutes a flaw in the works themselves.)

#31 Ryan H.

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 08:52 AM

Just curious, do you find it irresponsible because it didn't contextualize the Passion narrative, or for other reasons?

Well, I have other concerns, but I think Gibson would have done better to contextualize it.

I don't see Christian artists treating the Passion being subject to some sort of responsibility to provide a set amount of context to make the story religiously intelligible to a given audience.

Depends on the forum/medium for the art, and the audience considering it. The movie theater is not a stained glass window or a church altar.

Edited by Ryan H., 16 October 2009 - 09:07 AM.


#32 SDG

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 09:08 AM

Depends on the forum for their art, and the audience considering it. The movie theater is not a stained glass window.

True, but I wouldn't have a problem with displaying a stained glass window in a museum, or for that matter with doing a movie documentary on stained glass. To bring the analogy closer, a wordless documentary on the art of the Passion could carry significant Good Friday spirituality, and while it might well be decontextualized from Jesus' life, I wouldn't find it problematic for that reason.

TPOTC is essentially a dramatic interpretation of Catholic Good Friday spirituality. An interpretation made of course via the lens of Gibson's aesthetic and sensibilities, and I have no quarrel in principle with objecting to particular aspects of Gibson's aesthetic and sensibilities. But I can't see a persuasive in-principle objection to the enterprise of offering a dramatic interpretation of Catholic Good Friday spirituality -- any more than I can imagine objecting to the enterprise of offering a dramatic interpretation of anything else where the topic isn't inherently objectionable or otherwise unfit for exhibition.

#33 Ryan H.

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 09:49 AM

But I can't see a persuasive in-principle objection to the enterprise of offering a dramatic interpretation of Catholic Good Friday spirituality -- any more than I can imagine objecting to the enterprise of offering a dramatic interpretation of anything else where the topic isn't inherently objectionable or otherwise unfit for exhibition.

Naturally. And if you recall, I said my gripe didn't lie with the artistic legitimacy of such an enterprise.

My gripe comes from my uniquely Christian concerns. As Christians, we should take great care with how we present the Christian narrative in a public format, no matter what form or medium we're dealing with. Art in and for the Church and art produced by Christians for the world (which encompasses both Christians and non-Christians), should look different from one another, just as a conversation a believer holds in quiet with another believer will be qualitatively different from a lecture by a Christian believer to an audience that isn't Christian. I personally believe that Gibson didn't show adequate care in readying his film for the public sphere.

Edited by Ryan H., 16 October 2009 - 09:50 AM.


#34 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 10:07 AM

I'm not sure how "public" The Passion was supposed to be, really. Gibson had no reason to expect it to be all that successful, commercially -- I think it's pretty clear he made the movie simply because he felt a need to make it, for whatever personal reasons, and he happened to have the money to make it on his own, without any studio interference whatsoever -- and I'm quite happy to consider it as a deeply religious work that was co-opted (for lack of a better word) into the public sphere, just as religious icons and paintings are frequently co-opted (for lack of a better word) for display in secular museums.

This Moses movie, of course, has no such personal basis; it seems very clearly to be a commercially-driven studio product. What's more, the Moses story belongs to more than one faith, and so there are different ways to contextualize it religiously, even before we consider the possibility that the film may de-religiofy it. And that would be okay, too, really. It's kind of like Christmas: I would rather live in a society that had a secularized Christmas, and be able to tell people "Well hey here's what Christmas is REALLY all about," than live in a society that had no popular understanding of Christmas at all.

#35 SDG

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 10:21 AM

De-religofy?

#36 Ryan H.

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 11:11 AM

I'm not sure how "public" The Passion was supposed to be, really. Gibson had no reason to expect it to be all that successful, commercially -- I think it's pretty clear he made the movie simply because he felt a need to make it, for whatever personal reasons, and he happened to have the money to make it on his own, without any studio interference whatsoever -- and I'm quite happy to consider it as a deeply religious work that was co-opted (for lack of a better word) into the public sphere, just as religious icons and paintings are frequently co-opted (for lack of a better word) for display in secular museums.

Fair enough.

This Moses movie, of course, has no such personal basis; it seems very clearly to be a commercially-driven studio product. What's more, the Moses story belongs to more than one faith, and so there are different ways to contextualize it religiously, even before we consider the possibility that the film may de-religiofy it. And that would be okay, too, really. It's kind of like Christmas: I would rather live in a society that had a secularized Christmas, and be able to tell people "Well hey here's what Christmas is REALLY all about," than live in a society that had no popular understanding of Christmas at all.

I'll quote Walker Percy's The Message in the Bottle:

The Christian novelist today is like a man who has found a treasure hidden in the attic of an old house, but he is writing for people who have moved out to the suburbs and who are bloody sick of the old house and everything in it.

The Christian novelist is like a starving Confederate soldier who finds a hundred-dollar bill on the streets of Atlanta, only to discover that everyone is a millionaire and the grocers won't take the money.

The Christian novelist is like a man who goes to a wild lonely place to discover the truth within himself and there after much ordeal and suffering meets an apostle who has the authority to tell him a great piece of news and so tells the news with authority. He, the novelist, believes the news and runs back to the city to tell his countrymen, only to discover the news has already been broadcast, that this news is in fact the weariest canned spot advertisement on radio-TV, more commonplace than the Exxon commercial, that in fact he might as well just be shouting Exxon! Exxon! for all anyone pays attention to him.

The Christian novelist is like a man who finds a treasure buried in a field and sells all he has to buy that field, only to discover that everyone else has the same treasure in his field and that in any case real estate values have gone so high that all field owners have forgotten the treasure and plan to subdivide.

Suffice to say, I'd rather speak to a culture that was not so familiar with Christianity, its narratives, and its symbolic vocabulary than one that is.

Edited by Ryan H., 16 October 2009 - 11:11 AM.


#37 M. Leary

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:05 PM

Suffice to say, I'd rather speak to a culture that was not so familiar with Christianity, its narratives, and its symbolic vocabulary than one that is.


I don't follow. For one thing, the Moses narrative is central to two major world religions, one of which is not Christianity. Much like Jesus, Moses always belongs to a much bigger group of "us" than we think he does. For another thing, in that section of Message in a Bottle, Percy is talking about fiction writers writing to Christians and non-Christians. Percy was always clear that authors should not write differently to these audiences as if they were distinct entities. Percy loved this kind of secularized use of biblical images. It was the cornerstone of his very modernist Southern bent.

#38 M. Leary

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:18 PM

My gripe comes from my uniquely Christian concerns. As Christians, we should take great care with how we present the Christian narrative in a public format, no matter what form or medium we're dealing with. Art in and for the Church and art produced by Christians for the world (which encompasses both Christians and non-Christians), should look different from one another, just as a conversation a believer holds in quiet with another believer will be qualitatively different from a lecture by a Christian believer to an audience that isn't Christian. I personally believe that Gibson didn't show adequate care in readying his film for the public sphere.


This is very unique, and I am not even sure it is very Christian. Just as my conversations with non-Christian friends are not at all qualitatively different from my conversations with brothers and sisters, I don't think Christian artwork is anything different than... artwork. As a bookbinder, I seldom push aesthetics very hard in ways that would be discernable to non-specialists, but I make the same books for "the just and the unjust."

Not sure if I am reading you incorrectly or not, but this seems to be a pretty idiosyncratic view.

And from another direction, other than Muslim piety, I can't think of a spirituality that has been more public in the West for centuries than Catholic spirituality, of which Gibson's film is one of the greatest cinema documents.

#39 SDG

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:29 PM

My gripe comes from my uniquely Christian concerns. As Christians, we should take great care with how we present the Christian narrative in a public format, no matter what form or medium we're dealing with. Art in and for the Church and art produced by Christians for the world (which encompasses both Christians and non-Christians), should look different from one another, just as a conversation a believer holds in quiet with another believer will be qualitatively different from a lecture by a Christian believer to an audience that isn't Christian. I personally believe that Gibson didn't show adequate care in readying his film for the public sphere.

I don't have a problem with this type of objection in principle, only insofar as you attach it to presenting the Passion devoid of the "context" of Jesus' life. Whether as an artistic concern or a spiritual one, I can't see the merit of that specific objection.

One more analogy and then I'm done. Suppose a group of Christians holds a large, public Good Friday procession, complete with a mock scourging in the town square, a bloodied Jesus carrying his cross down Main Street while bystanders jeer at him, and a mock crucifixion on the outskirts of town. No other context. Everyone in town sees it -- believers, nonbelievers, residents, people passing through.

To me, the lack of context is not something that warrants a spiritual critique. Same goes for TPOTC, though again it can be critiqued on other grounds.

#40 Ryan H.

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:48 PM

For one thing, the Moses narrative is central to two major world religions, one of which is not Christianity.

I was unclear in my quotation of Peter's post; I was referring more to the idea that Peter expressed that he'd rather have some kind of common ground to have the discussion--he used Christmas--regardless of whether it had been secularized or not. I'd rather preach to a culture where Christianity and its symbols were very new, than one where they're familiar and the symbolic language has been secularized. In other words, I'd rather explain Christmas to someone who has never even heard of it than try to explain "well hey here's what Christmas is REALLY all about" to someone who's celebrated it every year of their life and has no idea of the attached Christian meaning.

Much like Jesus, Moses always belongs to a much bigger group of "us" than we think he does. For another thing, in that section of Message in a Bottle, Percy is talking about fiction writers writing to Christians and non-Christians.

In that passage, in particular, he's dealing with the devaluation of Christian vocabulary, that it is "worn out." As he says before that discourse, "The old words of grace are worn smooth as poker chips and a certain devaluation has occurred, like a poker chip after it is cashed in."

Percy was always clear that authors should not write differently to these audiences as if they were distinct entities.

Perhaps, but a quotation of one passage of Percy's expressing a particular idea should not indicate that I thereby hold all of his beliefs.

This is very unique, and I am not even sure it is very Christian. Just as my conversations with non-Christian friends are not at all qualitatively different from my conversations with brothers and sisters, I don't think Christian artwork is anything different than... artwork. As a bookbinder, I seldom push aesthetics very hard in ways that would be discernible to non-specialists, but I make the same books for "the just and the unjust."

Not sure if I am reading you incorrectly or not, but this seems to be a pretty idiosyncratic view.

I may have been confusing in my reference to "art." What I mean, more specifically, is that art should tend to look different inside and outside of the Church when it references particularly Christian things, as a conversation between believers about Jesus will look very different from a conversation about Jesus between a believer an an unbeliever. There are, of course, exceptions to this idea, but I don't think it's somehow strange to suggest that the consideration of audience should shape the form that work eventually takes.

And from another direction, other than Muslim piety, I can't think of a spirituality that has been more public in the West for centuries than Catholic spirituality, of which Gibson's film is one of the greatest cinema documents.

Public, yes, but it is still mysterious for many, many people.

Edited by Ryan H., 16 October 2009 - 12:53 PM.






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