After the presentations, students
were given the opportunity to make comments and to ask the
The panelists included Dr. Linda Lierheimer, associate professor
of humanities; Dr. Saundra Schwartz, associate professor of history
and classical studies; Dr. Grace Cheng, assistant professor of
political science; Dr. Christopher Fung, assistant professor
of anthropology, and Reverend Gregory Johnson, assistant professor
of religious studies.
Their presentations covered a variety of perspectives, including
the movie’s relationship with medieval tradition; the historical
accuracy of the film; the mass media as a new method to advance
religion, values and ideals; the clear distinction The Passion
draws between good and evil; and Hollywood’s fascination
with violence and gore.
Senior Emily Chow said, “I really liked Reverend Johnson’s
presentation. It was well thoughtout and passionate.”
While the presentations were diverse in approach, panelists
generally maintained similarly negative positions on the
movie, a fact
that upset some students.
Senior Lauren Allen said, “I disliked the fact that the
whole panel held a position against the movie. It would have
been better if there had been an opinion from the other side
of the spectrum.”
Chow agreed: “[The panel] lacked the other perspective.”
Allen thought the event served its purpose in facilitating
discussion between students and professors. “Allowing the teachers
to speak first and leaving the questions open for students, encouraged
students to go up,” said Allen. “A lot of times,
students don’t open their mouths in class because they
don’t want to extend class time. With this method, students
were willing to come, take the time out of their schedules, and
actively participate,” she said.
Chow thought the event, as a whole, was “fun and interesting.” She
is planning to attend future discussions.
Dr. John Kearns, assistant dean of Academic Administration
and General Education, said that The Passion sparked an online
between professors that went on for weeks. The movie has created
a “cultural phenomenon” that merits discussion.
Spring series of events planned
“The Passion of the Christ: Faith or Dogma?” was
the first of a series of spring events at HPU being held to
promote interesting and informative discussions between students
and faculty outside of the classroom. Future events include:
Global Citizenship Symposium,” April 17, 9 a.m.-noon,
Hawai‘i Loa Campus. Breakfast at 8:30. Lunch at noon.
Global Citizenship: Reports from the Field,” April 28,
3:30 p.m. Location: TBA.