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Jesus, the Gospels, and Cinematic Imagination


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Table of Contents

List of Figures Introduction: Digitalizing Jesus 1. La vie du Christ, Alice Guy, 1906 2. La vie et passion de notre seigneur Jesus Christ, Ferdinand Zecca, 1907 3. From the Manger to the Cross, Sidney Olcott, 1912 4. Intolerance: Love's Struggle Through The Ages, D.W. Griffith, 1916 5. The King of Kings, Cecil B. DeMille, 1927 6. King of Kings, Nicholas Ray, 1961 7. Il vangelo secondo Matteo, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964 8. The Greatest Story Ever Told, George Stevens, 1965 9. Godspell, David Greene, 1973 10. Jesus Christ Superstar, Norman Jewison, 1973 11. Il messia, Roberto Rossellini, 1975 12. Jesus of Nazareth, Franco Zeffirelli, 1977 13. Monty Python's Life of Brian, Terry Jones, 1979 14. The Jesus Film, John Krish and Peter Sykes, 1979 15. The Last Temptation of Christ, Martin Scorsese, 1988 16. Jesus de Montreal, Denys Arcand, 1989 17. Jesus, Roger Young, 1999 18. The Miracle Maker, Derek W. Hayes and Stanislav Sokolov, 2000 19. The Gospel of John, Philip Saville, 2003 20. The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson, 2004 21. Son of Man, Mark Dornford-May, 2006 22. Mary Magdalene, Garth Davis, 2018 A Gospels Harmony of Select Jesus Films Works Cited Film Index Modern Author Index Scripture Index

Promotional Information

Introduces students to the phenomenon of Jesus and film, with clear summaries and discussions of how a wide range of popular and classic Jesus movies portray Jesus on the screen.

About the Author

Richard Walsh is Womack Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Co-Director of the Honors Program at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA, and is the author of Reading the Gospels in the Dark and editor of the T&T Clark Handbook of Jesus and Film. Jeffrey L. Staley is the author of numerous essays on Jesus and film, and co-founder of the SBL Bible and Film Program Unit. He taught a variety of theology and film courses for many years in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University, USA, and is now retired.


With this revision of their excellent 2007 handbook to Jesus on DVD, Richard Walsh and Jeffrey Staley have added an indispensable reference work to the groaning shelf of books on movies about Jesus. Not only have they added several films - old and new - but they have extensively revised the entire book, addressed the move from DVD to streaming platforms, and added a new introduction that makes sense of the diverse films they treat without homogenizing them. A must-read for both seasoned Jesus-movie-watchers and those who are newcomers to this corpus of films, this book will also work well as a textbook for college and adult-education courses on the Jesus movies. * Adele Reinhartz, University of Ottawa, Canada *
This fully updated and revised version of Jesus, the Gospels and Cinematic Imagination showcases twenty-two Jesus films, spanning silent cinema through to present day. Each chapter's erudite analysis immerses readers in relevant scholarship as it situates the films within cinematic and cultural history. The attention to techniques such as cinematography, location, and casting is particularly elucidating, and sections highlighting problematic issues (e.g. orientalism, violence, androcentrism) facilitate important discussions about these films as cultural products. Written in a lively and engaging style and imbued with the field-leading expertise of Staley and Walsh, this is set to become an essential volume for anyone teaching, researching, or just plain interested in Cinematic Jesuses. * Michelle Fletcher, King's College London, UK *
Walsh and Staley's Jesus, the Gospels, and Cinematic Imagination is the most accessible, informative, and insightful book on Jesus films. Reflecting their decades of expertise, each of the twenty-two chapters is a dense tapestry of insight and illumination. In addition to expected classics (The Last Temptation of Christ, The Passion of the Christ), the authors also examine lesser known (La vie du Christ, Il messia, The Miracle Maker, Son of Man) and more recent films (Mary Magdalene). Walsh and Staley respect cinema enough to take it seriously on its own terms, rather than subsuming films within biblical narratives. Especially helpful is the material on each film's cultural location/genre, director, and problematic issue. The valuable material in the endnotes of each chapter is alone worth the price of the book. Walsh and Staley's book is ideal for undergraduates and anyone interested in Jesus films. * Matthew S. Rindge, Gonzaga University, USA *
This revised version offers a decidedly different take on Jesus films, shifting the focus from message to medium, from the interpretation of (mostly) biblical texts to their visual incarnations. Walsh and Staley do not limit themselves to what these films reveal about Jesus, but also address issues related to Jesus film genres, their specific characteristics and characters, actors and makers. As such, it offers fresh perspectives on a century of Jesus film-making. * Caroline Vander Stichele, Tilburg University, The Netherlands *

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