Jesus in Films: Representation, Misrepresentation and Denial of Jesus’Agony in (Apocryphal) Gospels


Since the discovery of cinematographe in 1895, Jesus has been presented for the silver screen. This representation correlates with the development of visual and sound recording. The development of technology made the representation of Jesus on cinema co-evolves into a discourse about His humanity and divinity, as in film The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), The Messiah (1975), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and The Passion of the Christ (2004). Since the first film in 1897 (Passion du Chris by Albert Kirchner / Lear), Jesus' films have received reconstructions subjective to the society of its era. The limitations of cinema in representing supernatural events contributes to the debate about Jesus. The pathos of film is formed through the interaction between visual and narrative strategies. Both strategies are need when analyzing Jesus in films. The Christology of reformed theology will be used as the theological basis of this paper. Eisenstein's theory of montage pathos will be used to underline the existence of the golden section, the ratio of 2:3 as contained in science, aesthetics, and cinema. The golden section of Jesus' life in this paper is "The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane". This panel will argue that the phenomenon of Jesus' films (1897-2014) is relevance to the problem of justice in term of aesthetics, branding, communications, philosophy and theology. It will answer questions of whether the advertising obscures or strengthen the role of agony, and the agony in the films strengthens or reduce the brand 'JESUS'.

Author Information
Eric Gunawan, Pelita Harapan University, Indonesia
Carly Stiana Sumampouw, Pelita Harapan University, Indonesia
Chandra Han, Pelita Harapan University, Indonesia
David Tobing, Pelita Harapan University, Indonesia
Magdalena Lestari Ginting, Pelita Harapan University, Indonesia

Paper Information
Conference: IICAHDubai2016
Stream: Humanities - Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication

This paper is part of the IICAHDubai2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon