Ask Better Questions, 2017, stoneware
Growing up in a conservative Christian household, I had actually never been consciously aware of the anti-Semitic nature of the Passion story. This violent narrative has been promulgated by many voices from the Christian community, and I wonder what aspects of my core beliefs are pocked by these teachings. That identifying the Jews as Christ Killers was associated with multiple levels of violence had never occurred to me. It was just accepted as Biblical teaching. The story of the Passion through art history and contemporary works illuminates the Self vs Other, Good vs Evil mentality. In class, we discussed finger pointing, and the ways in which art can conflagrate agendas. I even question to what level personal or cultural beliefs influenced “God’s Word” in the Gospels.
In summary, asking WHO killed Jesus does not give a good answer. Rather, we should consider the larger, universal themes surrounding the persecution of a just, peace-loving man, and seek to know WHAT killed Jesus. The forces at play were human, and do not belong to one race, one religion or one gender. If we are going to make progress against violence and hate, we need to know what to look for in modern society. We must ask better questions.