The NCC Reflection Guide
to Mel Gibson's Film
“The Passion of the Christ”
and Some Related Resources
The NCC Reflection
Prepared in 2004 in a bulletin-insert style for distribution to
congregations or study groups, the NCC Reflection Guide was intended to
accompany the initial release of the Mel Gibson movie. Now that the
film has been edited for re-release, the NCC guide is being offered again, in
a choice of formats:
1. The Christian Scholars Group on
Christian-Jewish Relations, sponsored by the
Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College offered three very useful resources on
their web-page: (1) a great study guide for viewers and reviewers of dramatic
portrayals of Jesus’ passion, entitled, “Facts,
Faith, and Film-Making: Jesus’ Passion and Its Portrayal” . . . (2)
a short categorized bibliography of recent
publications . . . and (3) a 2002 statement by the Christian Scholars Group
on ten topics that impact Christian-Jewish relations. You can access their web page
2. A panel of Lutheran Scholars and Clergy
issued a statement of “Concerns and
Recommendations” about this movie. You can read their 2004 statement here:
Also on the ELCA web page is
an excellent statement entitled “Gibson's "Passion": Some Need-to-Know
Background,” by Dr. Carol Schersten LaHurd. You can read her statement
3. International Council of Christians and Jews
maintains an excellent clearing house of information on the web. A search for any of the key words on the movie (e.g. Mel
Gibson, The Passion) will yield several articles. You can access that
4. Two web services that specialize in faith-based information,
FaithAndValues.com, offered special sections with extensive
bibliographies on the topics surrounding the film, and those may still be
available through a search of those sites.
Related to the Subject
1. Recent books that deal with the question “Who killed Jesus?”
Crossan, John Dominic. Who
Killed Jesus? Exposing the Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of The Death of
Jesus. New York: HarperSanFrancisco 1995.
Sloyan, Gerard S. The
Crucifixion of Jesus: History, Myth, Faith. Minneapolis : Fortress
Brown, Raymond. The Death
of the Messiah. New York: Doubleday 1994.
Rivkin, Ellis. What
Crucified Jesus? The Political Execution of a Charismatic. Nashville :
Abingdon Press 1984.
2. Recent books that deal with questions of Anti-Judaism and its
Kee, Howard Clark and Irvin J.
Borowsky (eds), Removing Anti-Judaism from the New Testament.
Philadelphia: American Interfaith Institute/World Alliance 1998
Kee, Howard Clark and Irvin J.
Borowsky (eds), Removing the Anti-Judaism from the Pulpit.
Philadelphia: American Interfaith Institute 1996
Beck, Norman A. Mature
Christianity in the 21st Century: The Recognition and Repudiation
of the Anti-Jewish Polemic in the New Testament. NY: Crossroad 1994
Hall, Sidney, G III,
Christian Anti-Semitism and Paul’s Theology. Minneapolis: Augsburg
3. Recent books in which Christians and Jews reflect on each other’s
Boys, Mary C. Has God Only
One Blessing? Judaism as a Source for Christian Self-Understanding. New
York: Paulist Press 2000
Frymer-Kensky, Tikva et al.
Christianity in Jewish Terms. Boulder, CO: Westview Press 2000
Klenicki, Leon (ed), Toward
a Theological Encounter: Jewish Understanding of Christianity. New York:
Paulist Press 1991
4. Towards a new paradigm of Christian Jewish relations
Bernadin, Cardinal Joseph,
A Blessing to Each Other: Cardinal Joseph Bernadin and Jewish Catholic
Dialogue. Chicago: Archdiocese of Chicago 1996.
Perulmuter, Hayim Goren,
Siblings: Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity at their Beginnings.
New York: Paulist Press 1989
collection of resources was prepared by:
Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana
Director, Interfaith Relations
National Council of Churches
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 880
New York, NY 10115 U.S.A.