Journal Article

‘Animated Icons’: Narrative and Liturgy in <i>The Passion of the Christ</i>

Graham Holderness

in Literature and Theology

Volume 19, issue 4, pages 384-401
Published in print November 2005 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/fri045
‘Animated Icons’: Narrative and Liturgy in The Passion of the Christ

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This paper seeks to interpret the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ by situating the film into debates about film narrative, Catholic liturgy and ritual, and the sacrament of the Eucharist. Although the film is based on the Gospel narratives, it is argued that its handling of time and space has more in common with the liturgical structure of the Tridentine mass. As such it is both more and less than a film, requiring of the spectator not a cinematic ‘gaze’, but rather a corporeal participation akin to the experiential quality of Catholic sacramental ritual.

Journal Article.  7453 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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