Now a major motion picture, The Last Temptation of Christ is a monumental fictional reinterpretation of the Gospels by one of the giants of modern literature.
That said, The Last Temptation of Christ demands not only attention, but re-reading as well- always the mark of a good book.
Kazantzakis never intended his novel to be taken as gospel. He simply is attempting to bring into focus the humanity at the center of the mystery of Christ. Christ, in my mind is the living God and Kazantzakis, through a work of fiction, brings Him as a character closer to my own experience. Again, no one is to take this novel as Truth in a religious sense- although Kazantzakis is not blasphemus as many of this novel's attackers insist- it simply is an exploration of the sin and heartache that all human's encounter.
By making Christ more human for the sake of narrative, Kazantzakis brings the price of our salvation even closer to reality. The pain of sin and blood of cleansing is even more critical and necessary to every one of us. Satan's tempting of Christ in this novel is so vividly powerful that we do indeed see our selves manifested. The book has demanded I (and all readers) re-examine and closely evaluate our faith. This does not mean we reject it- no- it actually makes our faith stronger.
Kazantzakis had the courage to step out of Plato's cave with this novel. I strongly urge all readers to tackle the difficult prose and wrestle with this novel. It is a meaningful journey one can (and needs to!) take repeatedly.
In this beautifully written novel, Jesus of Nazareth is first presented as a young carpenter who makes... Read more