"The Passion of the Christ:" A Movie of Hope or Despair? An Inter-faith Debate

Robert Cooney robert.cooney@uleth.ca Univ Adv - Communications March 15, 2004

SACPA Thursday, March 25, 2004 “The Passion of the Christ:” A Movie of Hope or Despair? An Inter-faith Debate

“Senseless violence” “Anti-Semitic” “Powerful and Transformative”

These are all words used to describe the intensely contentious film, The Passion of the Christ. This film captures in graphic detail the brutality experienced by Christ at the time of his crucifixion.

The stark realism, some argue, inspires us to better appreciate the sacrifice Christ made on behalf of all humankind. It compels us to think about our own personal suffering, and the suffering in the world, forcing us to find renewed meaning and purpose in it. Others suggest this movie is a despairing, un-redemptive commentary on a profound historic and religious event.

Either way, The Passion of the Christ is an opportunity for individuals and communities to sketch out and debate the deeper issues raised by this film. Three local members of the clergy will do exactly this. They will debate the merit of this film, offering a wide spectrum of insights for public reflection. There is no need to see the film to appreciate this debate, as the speakers will guide us through the movie and the broader issues at stake.

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