Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"

Publication Date: January 2004

Publisher: Association for Jewish Studies; Association for Jewish Studies

Author(s): David Kraemer; David Kraemer

Research Area: Culture and religion; Media, telecommunications, and information

Keywords: Film; Religion; Media; Antisemitism

Type: Other

Coverage: United States United States


The author discusses Mel Gibson's controversial film "The Passion of the Christ." He notes that many Jewish sources have celebrated martyrdom and invited suffering Jews to identify with central figures in martyrdom tales. These sources, the author explains, have been introduced to audiences who were suffering similarly themselves. However, in a modern American context, argues the author, Gibson's portrayal is unlikely to prompt modern-day Jews or Christians to identify personally with the torture-enduring Jesus of the film.