Century Marks

Jesus du jour: “Every era gets the Jesus it wants,” claims Susannah Heschel. Commenting on The Passion of the Christ, the Dartmouth religion professor says that Mel Gibson’s Jesus “is not simply the product of his own religious imagination; it is an effort to shape the American cultural moment,” as it attempts to sanctify “the right-wing memory of the horrific events of September 11—the Passion of America.” Gibson’s Jesus resembles the fascist myth of the “Aryan Jesus,” a Jesus marked by three myths: he was no lamb of God but rather a macho man; he was racially Aryan, not Jewish; and he liberated himself from the constraints of the Jewish religion.


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