University of Lausanne BiBIL
  Institut romand des sciences bibliques
  Biblical Bibliography of Lausanne - BiBIL
Administration Contact Impressum  
Notice details
Bibil Identifier bibil:202207
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) “Realizing” Paul's Visions: The New Testament, Caravaggio, and Paxton's Frailty
Author Walsh, Richard
Journal Biblical Interpretation (Volume: 18, Issue: 1)
Year (Publication) 2010
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2010
Year (Copyright) 2010
Year (Reference) 2010
Year (Second publication) 2010
Language English
Pages 28-51 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract This essay examines three different attempts to realize visionary experiences aesthetically: New Testament authors' depictions of Paul's conversion; Caravaggio's paintings of the same; and Bill Paxton's cinematic depiction of the horrific visions of a modern day seer in Frailty. The resulting aesthetic objects are not all realistic, but they all have the potential for an imperial impact upon their audiences' realities. The New Testament accounts of Paul's conversion are not realistic. They are mythic assertions of divine authority demanding obedient belief. Bill Paxton's Frailty contemporizes similar demands in its horrifying account of apocalyptic visionaries and violence. While the film does not offer a specific interpretation of Paul's conversion, its realization of apocalyptic visions raises important reservations about any imperialist vision, even that of the canon. By contrast, Caravaggio's paintings of Paul's conversion are far less imperialistic. While the chapel location of and the use of light within the second Conversion of St. Paul confer mythic authority upon it, the realistic, contemporizing of the episode in the painting itself demands interpretation, not simple belief. Before it, one is responsible for what one chooses to believe more obviously than one is before the New Testament accounts of Paul's conversion or the visions of Paxton's Frailty.
DOI 10.1163/092725610X12547454150523
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Conversion
Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Iconography
Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Apocalyptic
Pericopes Acts of the Apostles 9
Acts of the Apostles 22
Acts of the Apostles 26
Last modification 2017-10-27