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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal/Theological Notebook: Running Errands; Thinking My Christology Course; Christ in Film 
19th-May-2010 09:11 pm
Jesus Teaching
More "taking care of business" today. Getting my alumni card (one of the benefits is a 58% discount on interstate moving with one particular moving company, which could shortly be useful), rescheduling a hair cut with my stylist who left early for feeling ill today, returning more overdue library books and scanning through others in search of texts for my classes in the fall. I had a talk with Professor Del Colle yesterday about some of the texts he had chosen for his undergraduate Christology courses over the years. It's an interesting array, given his preference for pretty much using new sets of books every time he teaches the course, just to help keep him up in the field. He said he tries to fit them into a few particular categories – close biblical//historical studies, historical development/overview, a spiritual text – which sounded a sensible approach for giving the students a sense of the breadth of what Christology entails and produces.

The last several times he's taught the course, then, have produced the following booklists:
James P. Danaher, Eyes That See, Ears That Hear: Perceiving Jesus in a Postmodern Context
Paul D. Molnar, Incarnation and Resurrection: Toward a Contemporary Understanding
Saint Alphonsus Liguori, The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ
Gerard H. Luttenberger, An Introduction to Christology: In the Gospels and Early Church
Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), Jesus of Nazareth

Stephen T, Davis, Daniel Kendall, S.J., Gerald O’Collins, S.J., Editors, The Incarnation
Gabriel Fackre, Christology in Context: The Christian Story (A Pastoral Systematics Volume 4)
Larry W. Hurtado, How on Earth Did Jesus Become God? Historical Questions about Earliest Devotion to Jesus
Michael J. McClymond, Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth
Roy Abraham Varghese, God-Fleshed: A Chronicle of the Comings of Christ
N.T. (Tom) Wright, Who Was Jesus?

Michael Casey, Fully Human Fully Divine: An Interactive Christology
Elizabeth A. Dreyer, ed., The Cross in Christian Tradition: From Paul to Bonaventure
Francis Xavier Durrwell, C.SsR., Christ Our Passover: The Indispensable Role of Resurrection in Our Salvation
Thomas P. Rausch, Who Is Jesus: An Introduction to Christology
Gerard S. Sloyan, Why Jesus Died
Adrienne Von Speyer, The Cross: Word and Sacrament

Markus Bockmuehl, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Jesus
Gerald O’Collins, Incarnation
Stephen J. Patterson, The God of Jesus: The Historical Jesus and the Search for Meaning
Kathryn Tanner, Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity: A Brief Systematic Theology
Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C., Anima Christi Soul of Christ

Markus Bockmuehl, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Jesus
Gerald O’Collins, Incarnation
Brad H. Young, Jesus the Jewish Theologian
Margaret Barker, The Risen Lord: The Jesus of History as the Christ of Faith
Christoph Schönborn, God’s Human Face: The Christ-Icon

Peter Atkins, Ascension Now: Implications of Christ’s Ascension for Today’s Church
Elizabeth Ann Stewart, Jesus the Holy Fool
N.T. Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is
Paula Fredriksen, From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Jesus

St. Cyril of Alexandria, On the Unity of Christ
Leander Keck, Who is Jesus? History in Perfect Tense
Jon Sobrino, Christ the Liberator
Paula Fredriksen, From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Jesus

Roch A. Kereszty, O.Cist., Jesus Christ: Fundamentals of Christology
Donald Macleod, The Person of Christ
Scot McKnight, A New Vision for Israel: The Teachings of Jesus in National Context
J. R. Porter, Jesus Christ: The Jesus of History, the Christ of Faith

Donald J. Goergen, O.P., Jesus, Son of God, Son of Mary, Immanuel (A Theology of Jesus Series, Volume 4)
William P. Loewe, The College Student’s Introduction to Christology
William M. Thompson, The Struggle for Theology’s Soul: Contesting Scripture in Christology
Bible of your own choice
I've also begun to toy with another idea for the Christology class: film. More film adaptations on the life of Christ have been made than just about on any other subject. I started trying to think of films that fit into that category and was a bit surprised at how many started filling up the list. I split the list into two categories: more-or-less "straight" adaptations of the gospels, and films that took either profound liberties with the text for some theological, ideological or artistic reason, and films that were not at all about Christ or the gospels on the surface, but which drew heavily upon such symbolism and produced artistic results that conveyed theological insights or perspectives.
The Passion of the Christ (2004), Mel Gibson
The Gospel of John (2003), Philip Saville
The Miracle Maker (2000), Derek W. Hayes and Stanislav Sokolov
Jesus (1999), Roger Young
Jesus (1979), Peter Syke
Jesus of Nazareth (1977), Franco Zefferelli
The Messiah (1976), Roberto Rossellini
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), David Lean
The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (1964), Pier Paolo Pasolini
King of Kings (1961), Nicholas Ray
King of Kings (1927), Cecil B. DeMille
The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ (1905), Zecca and Nonquet

The Matrix (1999), The Wachowski Brothers
Jesus of Montreal (1989), Denys Arcand
Babette's Feast (1988), Gabriel Axel
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Martin Scorsese
Life of Brian (1979), Terry Jones/Monty Python
Godspell (1973), David Greene
The Gospel Road (1973), (Johnny Cash!) Robert Elfstrom
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), Norman Jewison
If I wanted to do something like incorporating several of these into the class, however, I would not be willing to give up the in-class course time necessary to watch a quorum of these movies. I'd only do it if I could get the class to agree to several "movie nights" over the course of the semester, and then incorporate some significant "Christology in Film" component to the exam(s). But I like the idea of giving them the option: if done well, such an exercise could really help students sharpen their analysis skills regarding the philosophical and theological themes articulated or implied in our entertainment media (which I think is largely taken in unrecognized by most students), as well as relating such media to the formal academic sources they'll be studying.
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