An effective technique for teaching religion/theology students the virtues of "close reading" of films and the various techniques by which filmmakers communicate meaning to their audiences involves the comparison of the same biblical scene in different filmed versions of the life of Jesus. Students can learn to appreciate the significance of the various theological and aesthetic choices a particular Jesus film represents by becoming aware of the very different choices made by the makers of other Jesus films. The scene used to illustrate this technique in this paper is the cleansing of the Temple, and the films whose portrayal of this scene are analyzed are The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The King of Kings (1927), Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), and Jesus of Montreal (1989).
"God in the Details: The Cleansing of the Temple in Four Jesus Films,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 13
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol13/iss2/5