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  • Constantine's Sword
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Constantine's Sword


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Constantine's Sword + Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews,  A History
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Product Details

  • Actors: Philip Bosco, Natasha Richardson, Eli Wallach, Liev Schreiber, James Carroll
  • Directors: Oren Jacoby
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00181XY6M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,257 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Constantine's Sword" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Review

At once enthralling and troubling...'Constantine's Sword' is a cri de coeur about the abuse of religion when aligned with the state. --New York Times

Endlessly fascinating --Errol Morris

Highly controversial, deeply felt....vividly immediate --Variety

Product Description

Constantine's Sword is an astonishing exploration of the dark side of Christianity, following acclaimed author and former priest James Carrol on a journey of rememberance and reckoning. Warning of what happens when military power and religious fervor are joined, this new film from Oscar-nominated director Oren Jacoby asks: Is the fanaticism that threatens the world today fueled by our own deeply held beliefs?

Customer Reviews

If it were left to Carroll, Israel wouldn't survive.
James D. Long
This was a very well done and informative history of Christianity in general and the Catholic Church specifically.
Iris Sanders
The film goes into a good bit of detail about the evidence for that discrimination.
Barbara Frederick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By David L. Woodyard on October 26, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I read James Carroll's book several years ago and felt it was well researched. The movie included much of this research and some more current ways the Christian Church continues to use the sword! It reminded me of what the Apostle Paul told the Corinthian Church: "If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." How many centuries will it take the church to learn it's better to be loving then right!! The film is worth seeing in this time when elements of two great world religious are at war/jihad with each other. Neither is innocent, both need to confess their sins. One down, one to go.
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63 of 75 people found the following review helpful By HoustonReviewer on September 4, 2008
Format: DVD
"Constantine's Sword," the movie version of John Carroll's book, is now available on DVD; it can also be watched on-line if you have Netflix.

There's a great deal of autobiography in the film. Carroll's father, Joseph Carroll was an important Air Force general; an FBI agent, Joseph Carroll was then sent to the new Air Force, commissioned a colonel, and within two years was a major general. He was the founding director of the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations, and then the founding director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; it was he who brought the photos of Russian missles in Cuba to Kennedy's attention.

The younger Carroll grew up on military bases, met John XXIII with his family as a teenager, and in the wake of the nuclear uncertainty of the Cold War, opted to pursue those things that would last. His first mass was celebrated at a chapel on an Air Force base; growing disillusioned with the war in Vietnam, and feeling called to follow the Prince of Peace, he slipped in just a tiny allusion in that first homily. He preached on Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones; he mentioned they had been burned by the sun. More than that, burned by napalm. Such a tiny rebellion-such a miniscule insult to the military-but enough to drive a wedge between James and Joseph.

Carroll was a priest from 1969-1974, increasingly active in opposing the war, which destroyed his faith in both governmental and churchly authority. In an interview from those days he notes the silence of the US Catholic hierarchy to the bombing of civilians in Vietnam and opines, "Were US bombers dropping contraceptives on the Vietnamese, the American Catholic hierarchy would have condemned it quickly; but we were dropping napalm, and they said nothing.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. Buczaczer on December 23, 2008
Format: DVD
Jim Carrol presents a scholarly and truthful presentation of Christianity and its roll in the world since Emperor Constantine at about 320. He also explores Christianity's effect on Jews for the past 1700 years, in a most honest and open way.
Carrol deserves a humanitarian prize for his scholarly work.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Freeman on November 22, 2008
Format: DVD
In his scholarly work, James Carroll, a former Catholic priest, becomes a modern-day Indiana Jones. His quest is to understand the role of Christianity in the persecution of Jews in ancient times as well as today. Not only is Carroll courageous and honest in his evaluation, but he exposes how other priests who wish to expose similar findings are systematically sidelined or silenced. Carroll should win a prize for his excellent documentary.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Hannum on February 1, 2010
Format: DVD
It's a testimony to James Carroll's brilliance that in the course of a 90-minute documentary he manages to weave together three distinct themes, showing how the personal and the political are related, and how the stories we tell can change everything - including our most fundamental beliefs.

The documentary's first thread is personal. Carroll's father was an important general during the Cold War. Vietnam divided father and son. Carroll wrote about this in "An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War That Came Between Us," which won a 1996 National Book Award. Carroll became a priest rather than following his father into the Air Force. The key moment of this story is Carroll's first Mass, on a military base, his father in attendance. The young Carroll preached from Ezekiel of the Old Testament, who wrote about bones from the slaughter of war, burned by the sun... and napalm, Carroll added. His father never forgave him, he says.

The second thread, public but also personal for Carroll, now an ex-priest, is the shadow cast by the cross - a symbol for Christianity only since the fourth century, when Roman Emperor Constantine conquered in its sign. Carroll wrote an award-winning book about this as well - the 2001 "Constantine's Sword, The Church and the Jews - A History." Whereas before Constantine Christianity's symbols referenced life, the cross is all about the tortured death of God, caused by... the Jews. Carroll interviews Elaine Pagels, who speaks to the unlikelihood of that actually being the truth - but (for historical reasons not covered in this film, i.e.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Champion on January 19, 2009
Format: DVD
I will keep this short and sweet. It is a selective account covering well know points relating to Judiasm and the Catholic Church in large part. It does an excellent job of showing the ambiguity and outright denials..by both commission and omission.
What we need to do is take a look at what kinds of roles we want religion to hold in your public life? Should Chaplains be in the military? What limitations should be placed on them? How are chaplains chosen?
We need to strongly look at the place religion holds in our judicial and social network system. One of the darkest histories of state supported religious brothels (called Orphanages) was in Newfoundland in Canada. The Brothers of Ireland had full sway over kids that resulted in both brutal violence and sexual abuse. The police and other chose to ignore or downplay any reports.
I said I will keep it short. What will you allow religious groups to influence in your society? Will you take your part in the public debate?
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