Jesus in Film
Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" (2004) troubled critics, but set box office records in the US and around the globe.
Why did this film strike such a deep chord with audiences? More importantly, how can the academic study of religion help us understand the background, the controversy, and the impact of this film?
Gary Herion's course "Jesus in Myth, Tradition and History" provides some answers. The course compares what the Bible says about Jesus with the work of historians who attempt to understand him in the context of his time and place. It also looks at how later Christians (like Mel Gibson) re-envision Jesus in light of the resources and religious imperatives of their own era.