I saw the DaVinci Code last night. Intriguing story. I now see why so many Christians are upset about the movie. It does challenge basic beliefs of particular Christian traditions (e.g. Divinity of Christ). Throughout the months I have heard numerous critiques and reviews of the movie or at least the ideas being presented in the movie. However, what I am struck by is the relative silence regarding the religious aesthetic and particular racial inference of Jesus and his descendants in the movie. One of the main issues I have with those who take issue with this particular movie is the silence on the racial dynamics and aesthetics of the movie. As it turns out Jesus' descendants are white Europeans. No surprise there! Racial Constantinianism is a mutha! This should be expected in light of 500 years of white supremacy and normalization (or what I call the symbolic universe of ecclesial whiteness). This movie has normative gaze in full effect. Why am I pointing this out? Because I have seen little mention of this reality on blogs that claim to represent a stance against the bad habits of modernity (e.g. absolutism, etc.). I don't want to give away the movie except to say that I found it interesting that one of the characters in the story that displays a concern for justice for women, dark-skinned folks, and the marginalized is characterized as a crack pot.
This is one more Jesus movie that gives further credence to what theologian Stanley Hauerwas says about Constantinianism: it is a hard habit to break. I would also add that racial Constantinianism is a hard habit to break. One wonders if part of the disdain for this movie that comes from particular Christian camps is the way the movie is purported to impugn the 'purity' of Jesus. Maybe it does but the other question is this: which purity is being impugned? These are initial thoughts…
A new Jesus movie has hit the U.S. It is now at the Sundance festival in Utah. I look forward with interest in how this will be received by the broader North American Church. We will see what kind of passion we have for Jesus. I can’t wait to see this. I hope it hits my local theatres. I have been waiting for something like this for a long time. A different ethnic represenation of Jesus in the mainstream that goes against the current of the usual European representations of Jesus on the big screen. Most recently Mel Gibson’s “The Passion”.