“Neal King knows more about the making, marketing and reception of The Passion of the Christ than anyone else. He gives us an elegant and perceptive analysis of the controversies that surrounded Gibson’s film and a sociological portrait of their origins in the competing objectives of polarized groups. King’s book is an essential source on the making and meaning of a film that has been both celebrated and condemned.”
- Stephen Prince, author of Firestorm: American Film in the Age of Terrorism
“This book is a means to reignite interest in the film and inspire debate surrounding it. Neal’s resurrection of the film may help it take its rightful place in cinematic history.”
- Lauren Felton, Filmwerk
Neal King is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology at Virginia Tech. His studies includes the ways in which people make use of media violence and concepts of agency. Using various data, from public commentaries and survey data to the content of film genres, he shows how filmmakers use media violence to advance their careers; evangelical Christians use it to draw moral lines; young men use sexual violence to bond with each other, affirming their authority and status over their victims; and rape educators use media violence to undermine that male power. Also, he and Toni Calasanti research expressions of ageism and agency in popular and academic culture.
The Visible Scholarship Initiative is a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and the University Libraries that seeks to make visible the stages of research and creative scholarship in the liberal arts and human sciences. Illustrating how faculty address key questions, employ varied methods, and produce significant results makes it possible to acknowledge and encourage research and creative activities that engage challenging questions and demonstrate sophisticated understanding.