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Articles - CfP Topic

Vol. 5 No. 1 (2019): Understanding Jesus in the Early Modern Period and Beyond. Across Text and Other Media

The Historical Jesus and the Christ of Early Cinema: A Complicated Relationship

December 6, 2018


When at the onset of the twentieth century, the influential German theologian Albert Schweitzer published a historiographical account of the ‘historical Jesus’, a discrete number of silent films devoted to the life and death of Christ had already appeared in Europe and the United States. This article analyses the rise of early silent films about Christ against the backdrop of the debate enhanced by the rise of the ‘historical Jesus’, presenting some of the relevant similarities and divergences that representations of the life of Jesus produced through different media and within an increasing relevance of mass culture.