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Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson's Film and Its Critics Paperback – October 7, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1403968005 ISBN-10: 1403968004 Edition: First Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This collection of essays begins well, with three lucid and sobering chapters on the state of Christian-Jewish relations in the wake of The Passion of the Christ. But as the book wears on it demonstrates most of the pitfalls of academic punditry, from foggy jargon to half-baked scholarship. An essay on Gibson's artistic precursors grandly if vaguely promises, "The answer to the question 'Why Caravaggio?' will have multivalent and multiple references from aesthetics, culture, gender, and theology," just before ending three paragraphs later. What could have been a fascinating statistical survey of viewers' responses to the filmis rendered insignificant by the fact that it was administered online to what the authors admit was a nonrandom "convenience sample. "A prominent Catholic critic of the film gives a tendentious survey of her conservative opponents in the media while barely acknowledging, let alone weighing, the impact of moderate and critical responses. And a few writers make unsupported claims that verge on the ridiculous. Evangelical reviewers may possibly warn Christian parents that violent films "can drive their children to crime"—but the author who makes that claim only quotes reviews suggesting that movie violence may lead to a general increase in crime, a far less surprising or specific finding. The light this book sheds on The Passion is scattered at best.
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About the Author

S. Brent Plate is an assistant professor in the department of religion at Texas Christian University. He is the author/editor of several books including Religion, Art, and Visual Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002) and is the managing editor of Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief.

More About the Author

Plate's teachings and writings explore how sense perceptions affect ways of being religious, and how religious traditions change our ways of perceiving the world around us. He has authored and edited eleven books and writes regularly for the Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches, The Revealer, Killing the Buddha, and other sites. He is the co-founder and managing editor of "Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief," co-founder and president of SCRIPT (Society for Comparative Research in Iconic and Performative Texts), and serves on several advisory boards. His most recent book is "A History of Religion in 5 ½ Objects: Bringing the Spiritual to its Senses." Having taught at the University of Vermont and Texas Christian University, he is currently visiting associate professor at Hamilton College.

Plate prefers spirals to circles, harmony to melody, savory to sweet, and was born in the year of the Fire Horse.

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