This is a retelling of the story of Christ which has created a stir of controversy abroad and is bound to be received with This is a retelling of the story of Christ which has created a stir of controversy abroad and is bound to be received with mixed feelings in this country. Kazantzakis is the greatest modern author Greece has produced and those who are familiar with his work will recognize the conflict between flesh and spirit which he has explored again and again in both his novels and philosophical writings. Here Kazantzakis follows the Gospels in accepting the miraculous events they relate.
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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Peter A. Bien Translator. The internationally renowned novel about the life and death of Jesus Christ. This literary rendering of the life of Jesus Christ has courted controversy since its publication by depicting a Christ far more The internationally renowned novel about the life and death of Jesus Christ. This literary rendering of the life of Jesus Christ has courted controversy since its publication by depicting a Christ far more human than the one seen in the Bible.
He is a figure who is gloriously divine but earthy and human, a man like any other—subject to fear, doubt, and pain. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published March 1st by Simon Schuster first published More Details Original Title.
Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Last Temptation of Christ , please sign up. Shawn For me, this was incredibly interesting and extremely well written. As a fictional work, the author has the liberty to entertain you along the way. Ha …more For me, this was incredibly interesting and extremely well written. Happy reading! Isn't it better than the Bible?
At least every one of those so called books that were "approved" based on political expediency and that make up the Bible? Maria It is a very tricky thing to compare it with the Bible Here it is an alternative look of events, much more humane. It contradicts the surface of pe …more It is a very tricky thing to compare it with the Bible It contradicts the surface of perfection that religion creates for the holy people, so that's why the book was banned. The purpose of the author was to highlight this sacrifice, as you will read in the introduction.
Whether this alternative version is better, it is up to you. Thank you, my friend, for your insteresting question. See all 4 questions about The Last Temptation of Christ…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.
Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Last Temptation of Christ. Aug 31, Michael Finocchiaro rated it it was amazing Shelves: nobel-lit , classics , fiction , greekth-c. This book was scandalous when it was published by Kazantzakis in and the reason that he - despite being a fervent Orthodox Christian - was refused an Orthodox burial.
It was of course the source of the similarly scandalous movie of with Willem Dafoe as Jesus. Why the scandal? Well, like when Rushdie imagined in The Satanic Verses that perhaps Satan sat on Mohammed's shoulder and dictated parts of the Qu'ran, Kazantzakis looks at the human side of Christ as depicted in the Gospel of Ma This book was scandalous when it was published by Kazantzakis in and the reason that he - despite being a fervent Orthodox Christian - was refused an Orthodox burial.
Well, like when Rushdie imagined in The Satanic Verses that perhaps Satan sat on Mohammed's shoulder and dictated parts of the Qu'ran, Kazantzakis looks at the human side of Christ as depicted in the Gospel of Mark where his is more of a man than a man-god , he allows Jesus to have sexual fantasies about Mary Magdalene and he experiences the guilt of these fantasies and works through them.
I found the plot quite plausible and challenging to my imagination and my belief system - but in a positive way. I read it after the Christians went ape-shit crazy in when the film came out and I can say that the book is far better than the film. I ended up breaking with my belief system - not because of the book but more because of what I perceived as the hypocrisy of a religion that calls Islam closed minded but that could not accept the slightest interrogation into the psyche of its founding figure.
Perhaps you should read it and judge for yourselves. View all 9 comments. Nikos Kazantzakis - was one of the greatest Greek writers of the last century. In , he lost the Nobel prize to Albert Camus by one vote.
One vote. Most people who hear about "The last temptation of Christ" immediately think of the Scorsese movie with Willem Dafoe as Jesus - and other equally atrociously miscast actors - a film that was meant to come across as scandalous and provocative, in the typical Hollywood low-brow fashion.
I never saw the movie and probably never Nikos Kazantzakis - was one of the greatest Greek writers of the last century. I never saw the movie and probably never will. That is a very good thing if you're going to read the book, because this is a very complex and beautiful work, that Hollywood would never be able to do justice to.
I loved many parts of the book. The language is very poetic, and I found that NK was great at reproducing the spiritual fervor of the time in Palestine, the social acceptance of visions, miracles, prophecies, and overall a very intense and palpable spiritual reality. In short, all that we have lost today in the West. Someone will argue "for good and for bad", but my opinion is that it is only for the bad.
Our loss. We have shrunk from a large, human dimension to the dimension of things. Anyway, that's a different topic see some modern scientist who states that everyone in ancient times suffered from a form of schizofrenia.
Fascinating theory, although probably wrong. Sounds more like a way to formalize the mental state of modern westerners as "healthy and better", which is obviously extremely arguable. Back to the book. Is NK's Jesus a credible, authentic, realistic Jesus? No, he is not.
I will summarize here the opinion of Lord Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and one of my intellectual heroes. Lord Williams says: "One of the things that makes us human is that we can allow the divine light to flood us and fill us, or as some theologians say, we can grow into the divine image. So I think Kazantzakis is right in saying that it's not a question of just one eccentric individual who lived centuries ago, but it is about the destiny of humanity, it is about how humanity itself grows into that divine image.
Where NK. Still Lord Williams about this book: "They said NK tried to portray a Jesus who was more human and relatable than the one in the Gospel. I think for a Christian Jesus must be "like us" enough to understand what he meant, what he was all about, and "different enough" to spring from the trap of a humanity that's turned on itself. However, the paradox in NK's narrative is that Jesus is this extraordinarily unusual, tormented and unique individual.
To try and make out his psychology in the novel is very hard work, I'm not at all sure if I understand quite what the enormous gear shifts in the story are all about. In some ways, in trying so hard to make Jesus more "human", he created a Jesus at least as difficult and remote as the Jesus of the classical theology".
And this: "The notion that Jesus is in a state of constant inner flux about his identity and mission I'm not so sure. In the gospel, the tension comes from someone who knows who he is and again and again he needs to confront the cost and the consequences of that.
But that's very different from the unceasing struggle of NK's Jesus to find a place to stand. In this book, Jesus is not just someone who has a doubt here and there, and therefore is more relatable. He is a man in constant, unceasing spiritual pain, scared of his own shadow and insecure about pretty much everything. He lives a life of torment, and even during his short public career, he is constantly shocked in front of the miracles he can make, always reluctant with regards to his mission.
The communion of Jesus with God is portrayed as a curse almost a mental illness rather than a loving relationship. Rather than Jesus being highly educated in the Scriptures as he must have been, and a confident leader, God seems to be using this poor, sickly and bizarre fool as a mere instrument for his plans.
Meanwhile, Jesus as a person comes across as a mentally unstable man who's gifted with deep sensitivity and extraordinary intuition, but has no confidence at all about what he is doing and no real idea where he is going. Despite what the Hollywood movie tried to imply, the real "last temptation" of Christ in this narrative is not sex, but domesticity.
While on the cross, Jesus dreams of being old, married and with kids and grandkids, as his final temptation.
The Last Temptation of Christ
We struggle, we see him struggle also, and we find strength. There are various ideas, themes and images from the book and the movie that provoked these howls of outrage, but the most significant cause lies at the dramatic center of the the story and concerns the nature of the "Last Temptation". As Kazantzakis imagines the tale, throughout his entire life Jesus is plagued by doubts about his destiny and his divinity and he is beset by temptation. Finally, as he hangs upon the cross, an angel comes and rescues him and delivers him to a mortal existence, wherein Christ marries and has children.
Nikos Kazantzakis : The Last Temptation Of Christ : Always Thirsty
This novel, which is derived from the inspiration of the theories of Freud and historical materialism, perverts and hurts the Gospel discernment and the God-man figure of our Lord Jesus Christ in a way coarse, vulgar, and blasphemous. Richards claims that Kazantzakis, in his The Last Temptation novel, tried to reclaim the values of early Christianity, such as love, brotherhood, humility, and self-renunciation. Bien, the psychology in The Last Temptation is based on the idea that every person, Jesus included, is evil by nature as well as good: violent and hateful as well as loving. A psychologically sound individual does not ignore or bury the evil within him. Instead, he channels it into the service of good. The central thesis of the book is that Jesus, while free from sin , was still subject to fear , doubt , depression and reluctance. Kazantzakis argues in the novel's preface that by facing and conquering all of man's weaknesses, Jesus struggled to do God's Will without ever giving in to the temptations of the flesh.