January 2, 2014


Monty Python's Life of Brian 'extraordinary tribute to Jesus', says theologian decorated by Pope Francis (John Bingham, 31 Dec 201, The Telegraph)

The film follows the life of a hapless fictional character called Brian, who is born at the same time as Jesus and is inadvertently proclaimed to be the messiah.
Jesus's only appearance in the film is during the Sermon on the Mount. Brian is standing at the back of the multitude and cannot hear, mistaking "Blessed are the Peacemakers" for "Blessed are the Cheese-makers".

Prof Burridge said that the fact that the Pythons had set out to write a satire about Jesus but had to resort to using a fictional failed messiah was a tribute to the uniqueness of Christ which Christians had failed to capitalise on.

He said: "What is interesting about what Cleese says is that when they sat down to read the gospels they were struck by Jesus, his teaching, and realised that you couldn't actually make a joke of these things which is why the accusation from Mervyn Stockwood and Malcolm Muggeridge that they were trying to use Jesus was so patently false.

"I think it is an extraordinary tribute to the life and work and teaching of Jesus - that they couldn't actually blaspheme or make a joke out of it.

"What they did was take ordinary British people and transpose them into an historical setting and did a great satire on closed minds and people who follow blindly.

"Then you have them splitting into factions ... it is a wonderful satire on the way that Jesus's own teaching has been used to persecute others.

"They were satirising closed minds, they were satirising fundamentalism and persecution of others and at the same time saying the one person who rises above all this was Jesus, which I think is remarkable and I think that the church missed that at the time."

Which made the criticism part of the satire.  

Posted by at January 2, 2014 5:00 PM

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