An Evil Threat to Marriage, Children and the Future: Queer Theory, “The Passion of the Christ,” and Evangelical Political Rhetoric

  • Author(s): Richard Wolff
  • When: 2015-01
  • Where: Journal of Religion & Film
  • This article employs queer theory to analyze Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ (2004) for its portrayal of queer characters (Satan and Herod) in contrast with non-queer (Pilate and Claudia, Seraphia, Simon the Cyrene, and Mary, Christ’s mother), and how it depicts the former as evil and the latter as good. In particular, these contrasts involve self-indulgent or predatory sexual expression versus a healthy marital relationship, and evil versus loving influences over children, who represent hope for the future. Finally, the article looks at the film’s heavy marketing to American evangelicals and how the symbolic representations in the film relate to evangelical politics and rhetoric concerning contemporaneous queer issues – gay marriage debates in particular.

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