Monday, March 1, 2004
'Commonweal' on Gibson's 'Passion.'
It is hardly surprising that Jews are made uncomfortable by, even deeply suspicious of, a movie whose dramatic logic and energy focus on the extreme violence of Jesus' death. Historically, who has been blamed for that death? It was only forty years ago, after all, that the church came to recognize that its supersessionist theology implicitly sanctioned discrimination and worse against those it belatedly embraced as our "elder brothers."
After the Holocaust, "silence, humility, and waiting together for God" are the best ways for Christians to live the gospel, [John] Coleman writes. The meaning of suffering, even Christ's suffering, can no longer be proclaimed triumphalistically. The church's contemporary teachings warn that too literal a reading of Gospel accounts of Christ's Passion can misrepresent the essential connection between Judaism and Christianity (see The Bible, the Jews, and the Death of Jesus, just published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops). The bishops advise us that in pondering the mystery of the church and the salvation offered to all by Christ, Catholics will inevitably encounter the ongoing "mystery of Israel." One way to embrace the mystery of the church is to listen to what Jews are saying.
("Mel is as he was," editorial, Commonweal 2.27.04, pages 5-6)
The reference to John Coleman is to the magazine's cover story, "Mel Gibson Meets Marc Chagall," which is definitely worth reading. I'll try to quote a passage from the article — also not yet on-line — later this week. (Ed. note: Now on-line! 3.9.04)
Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 1 March 2004 at 5:55 PM