Passion of the Christ — some connections that I’ve made

#1: The movie, Passion of the Christ. One critic refers to it as “The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre”.

#2: That g-d-mned nail necklace

#3: Two editorials I’ve read about Bush’s re-election bid, one from Dick Morris the other from David Broder. Morris says Bush is behind Kerry by an even larger margin than it appears right now, and he needs to re-assert his successes on terror. Broder says that Bush politically needs to remind the nation of where it was on 9/12.

#4: Richard Perle and David Frum’s suggestions on how we need to proceed after 9/11 as articulated in their book An End to Evil.

#5: A Portland Mercury editorial from the 1-year anniversary of 9/11 saying that Cermonies of the anniversary and the coverage on television is over-indulgence… chocolate covering.

#6: During the era of the Bubonic Plague, religious art re-shifted toward a focus on Christ’s suffering.

#7: That church sign saying “The Jews Killed Jesus” that was spotlighted on the news recently.

#8: My suffering is bigger than your suffering, see it right here, and I’m out for blood. Got that?

Maybe I’ll flesh these thoughts out later. I don’t know.

Am I going crazy here?

2 Responses to “Passion of the Christ — some connections that I’ve made”

  1. Brandon Says:

    Maybe instead of going crazy you are going sane. Most crazy people are unaware they are crazy.

    “A man talking sense to himself is no madder than a man talking nonsense not to himself.”
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

  2. Justin Says:

    From somewhere else I get this comment:

    #6: Actually, there isn’t much art from that era… too many fatalities. The plagues killed so many people that many deforested areas actually grew back. Not sure what your connection is that you’ve made on this one. Are you suggesting that during this current period of human suffering that our works of art are focusing on Jesus’ suffering? All because of this one movie that came out? First off, name a period of human history that wasn’t defined by suffering. Oh, and name some other modern works of art that depict the suffering of Christ. Seems to me that the opposite is true. This movie is unique in being the ONLY movie of its kind.

    My response being:

    Do a quick google search and I’ll defend myself thusly, keeping a historical timeline in mind:

    The iconography of the Passion and the rendering of Jesus changed as cultures and styles evolved throughout the history of western art, said Pamela Berger, a professor of medieval art history at Boston College.

    Artists from the early middle ages often depicted a triumphant Jesus, with his head up and arms thrust out in victory on the cross. At a time when Christians were striving to convert people in the Roman Empire, they didn’t want to portray a vulnerable, stricken savior.

    “People didn’t want to show a victimized, suffering God in these early years,” Berger said.

    Renderings of the Passion from this period often depicted Jesus as a youthful, beardless adolescent, said Deborah Kahn, an art history professor at Boston University.

    Beginning in the 13th century, images of the Passion became a lot gorier as a new emphasis on the physical agony and suffering of the Christ figure emerged, Berger said.

    Into the 14th century, Christ on the cross is often portrayed as gaunt and bony, with protruding ribs and lots of blood flowing from his wounds, Kahn said.

    With the return to classic Greek forms that characterized the high Renaissance, Jesus was depicted in an idealized male form in the 15th and early 16th centuries. Paintings from this period often featured a strong, handsome, muscular figure with a beautiful, elegantly posed body.

    “The Dead Christ with Angels” painted in the 1520s by Rosso Fiorentino, is among the great Renaissance masterpieces in the MFA collection, said Ilchman. The work features a handsome, redheaded Christ with a muscular physique falling into the arms of four young male angels.


    … looking at it a bit closer, and the tit-for-tat of the conversation points out that the change in Jesus depictions occurred a century before the Black Plague.

    Beyond that on the movie being “unique” in being the “only one of its kind”; maybe so but that’s partly the point– the movie has been made and it is affecting people. This goes back to the Nail necklace, which I find a rather perverse deviation from the “WWJD” paraphenilia.

Leave a Reply