The "Space Between": Pasolini's Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo and the Mediation of Scripture

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Abstract

Rooted in Italian neorealism, Marxist theory, and centuries of Christian art and music, Pier Paolo Pasolini's Il Vangelo secondo Matteo reactivates the Gospel against the backdrop of Italian Marxism and social life in the mid-twentieth century. Through a hermeneutical reflection, this paper argues for the film as a central moment in the mediation and reception of the Christian story. Pasolini's transgressive and poetic cinema partakes in and expands a hermeneutical dynamic at the core of the Christian story. The film's documentary style, political subtexts, and eclectic setting highlight how the Christian story is a lived historical experience and thus does not transcend the social or historical circumstances of its telling and retelling. In a reciprocal encounter, both film and Gospel reveal the Christian story's multiple textuality. Taking this as its cue, this article explores how Pasolini's Matthew reveals the role of cinema as a site of hermeneutical and Christological reflection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-123
Number of pages26
JournalBiblical Interpretation
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Biblical interpretation
  • Christology
  • Cinema
  • Gospel of Matthew
  • Mediation
  • New testament
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Queer temporality
  • Theological hermeneutics

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