The Passion of Christ on Television. Intertextuality as a Mode of Storytelling

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    The Passion is a contemporary performance of the passion of Christ live on stage, combined with pop music, city marketing, social media, and entertainment. The result is an encounter between the Christian gospel and traditional elements of devotion like a procession of the cross on the one hand, and the typical mediatization and commercialization of late modern society on the other. In this article, I will first briefly describe the phenomenon, including the different effects that the event has upon the audience and the stakeholders and benefits it has for them. It is one characteristic of The Passion that it allows for a variety of possible approaches, and this is, at the same time, part of its formula for success. Another characteristic is the configured intertextuality between the sacred biblical text and secular pop songs. In the second section, I will interpret this as a central mode of storytelling in The Passion. It can evoke traditional, but also new, interpretations of the Christian gospel. The purpose of the article is to interpret The Passion as an expression of constructive public theology. It is an example of how the gospel is brought into dialogue with secular society.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number603
    Pages (from-to)n.v.t.
    Number of pages12
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Intertextuality
    • Passion play
    • Public theology
    • The Netherlands
    • The Passion


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