Update: Dialogue in the Wake of the Passion

January 29, 2004

Source: The Associated Press


On January 29, 2004 The Associated Press reported that "Jews and Christians who fear Mel Gibson (news)'s epic on the crucifixion of Jesus will fuel anti-Semitism are planning lecture series, interfaith talks and other programs to try to mute the film's impact.

Gibson has insisted that "The Passion of the Christ," set to be released Ash Wednesday, Feb. 25, does not malign Jews.

However, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, whose representatives saw a version the movie last week, said it contained destructive stereotypes about the Jewish role in Christ's death.

Critics of the film hope to explain how dramatizations of the crucifixion, called Passion plays, were used in the Middle Ages to incite anti-Jewish violence, and emphasize that many Christian denominations now reject the idea of collective Jewish responsibility in the slaying of Jesus."