Jesus: A Tale of Horror

British film critic Mark Kermode offers a horror-movie buff’s take on The Passion: The Passion seems to me a quintessential horror film, a visceral cinematic assault which is no more or less ‘Christian’ than Ken Russell’s The Devils or Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant. All are examples of extreme movie-making from flamboyant film-makers who are passionately obsessed […]

Passion composer calls Devil: but will he come?

John Debney, who wrote the soundtrack for The Passion, is claiming that Satan tried to interfere with his composing: I had all these computers and synthesizers in my studio and the hard drives would go down and the digital picture that lives on the computer with the music would just freeze on his [Satan’s] face. Then the volume […]

The Passion of Shoko Asahara

Today’s big news where I live (Japan) is the sentencing of Chizuo Matsumoto, better known as Shoko Asahara, the man who promoted nihilistic religious terrorism before it was fashionable. The epic trial (during which arrests were made in Russia of followers reportedly planning a rescue mission) ended, as was expected, with the death sentence, although with the appeals procedure […]

IN BRIEF: Gay Marriage

The two big religious news stories of the day, the release of The Passion and Bush’s War on People Different From Him Getting Married, have been covered in depth everywhere else already. I’ll just briefly note the crowing in Charisma magazine over Bush’s move, and point American readers in the direction of this report concerning […]

C. Peter Wagner, Demon Hunter

Charisma Magazine is profiling C. Peter Wagner, the man whose teachings probably inspired General Boykin’s statements about Muslims and photographs of demons last year (although no one seemed to pick up on this connection). The profile notes that: Unlike many academicians who write at a tedious college-reading level [!], Wagner is a populist who tries […]

Christian China to convert the Middle East?

A couple of months after the event, I come across an interview with David Aikman, author of a widely well-recieved book on Christianity in China, Jesus in Beijing. Aikman’s book is one of a number that have emerged recently on the spread and development of Christianity worldwide, in the wake of Philip Jenkins’s The Next Christendom. […]

Mel Gibson, Jim Caviezel in “Satanic Attack”?

So much has been written about Mel Gibson’s movie version of Anne Catherine Emmerich’s The Dolorous Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ that I didn’t think I would have much to add, except my hope that its Aramaic dialogue might at least make people curious about Syriac, a dialect of Jesus’s language still spoken by Assyrian Christians from parts […]

A Soldier-Martyr in Chechnya

An interesting story about Evgeny Rodionov (or Yevgeny Rodionov), a youthful and pious Russian soldier captured by Chechens and supposedly put to death after refusing to convert to Islam, has been doing the rounds. A martyrology has been written up in a pamphlet, “The New Warrior of Christ, Evgeny Rodionov”, by a colourful Orthodox Priest named […]

More Satanic Panic in the UK

A news item from the British Sunday Mercury (serving Birmingham) reports that serial killer Fred West was involved with the occult. The source for this revelation? “Renowned Irish author Jim Cairns”, according to the hack concerned. Renowned? Unlike the hack, who gets paid to do this sort of stuff, I spent about ten minutes on-line […]

Who I am Not

Just in case people wonder, there are at least four people I am not. I am not Richard Bartholomew the JFK and 9/11 conspiracy theorist from Texas. I am not Richard Bartholomew the political cartoonist. And I am not Richard Bartholomew, author of books on India. I am also not Brother Bartholomew, the Satanic Catholic leader […]