For a while now, I hoped that someone would critique TV programs that touch on religious history, but that may not happen. They’re usually too boring to stay with.
I watched The Last Templar on NBC the last two nights. Just about got through the first night and fell asleep halfway through the second.
The DaVinci Code revisited. Conspiracy theories sell, with a little sex, violence and archeology thrown in, I guess.
Too bad, because religious stories have material you would love to see some good screenwriter explore. They’re human to the core.
Take Peter the Apostle, for example. He left home–wife, mother-in-law, kids, a fishing business–to follow Jesus. Did he just pack his bags and walk away?
He was not well-educated, probably spoke Greek or Latin badly, if at all. How did he get to Rome and communicate with people so different from himself ?
How did he get along with the Jews there? Paul had a hard time in some synagogues he visited. Did he get along with Paul?
Where did he live? One tradition says he lived with a Roman senator in his spacious house on the Esquiline Hill. Some change from Capernaum.
What was it like to get caught up in Nero’s dragnet for suspects after the fire that burned down most of the city in 64 AD?
But maybe we shouldn’t blame screenwriters for shallow religious dramas, maybe we should take a look at ourselves. Do we depend too much on learned scriptural commentaries and careful scholarly theologians and not enough on our own imaginations? Not that we should neglect them, but don’t we have access to our religious history too? Why not let our minds roam over our religious stories.
Maybe we need a revival of ordinary meditation?