During Easter there is a lot of talk about the "passion" of Jesus Christ. Usually passion means (more or less) a very strong emotion or desire. That doesn't seem to fit here though - is there a separate meaning? If there is, how do the two meanings relate to each other?


The original sense of passion is "something undergone" or "suffered": the Passion of Christ is the sufferings which Christ underwent from arrest to crucifixion. A related word is "patient", literally someone suffering or undergoing a disease

The word was extended in the Middle Ages to strong emotions such as anger because emotions were philosophically/theologically/scientifically (there's no real difference between these in the Middle Ages) felt to arise not from what one "is"—one's "essential" rational and spiritual soul—but from outside, or from the animal body to which the body is bound, and were thus something which the rational soul "underwent" or "suffered".


Wikipedia covers this: "In Christianity, the Passion (from Late Latin: passionem "suffering, enduring") is the short final period in the life of Jesus covering his entrance visit to Jerusalem and leading to his crucifixion on Mount Calvary, defining the climactic event central to Christian doctrine of Salvation History."

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