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The Last Temptation of Christ


In 1988 Scorsese's very controversial film adaptation of the Nikos Kazantzakis novel came out.  In the film Christ is portrayed in his last year as an ordinary Israelite tormented by divine doubt, human desires and the voice of God.  The controversy engulfing the film, as it was heavily protested and widely banned, tended to divert attention from what is an exceptional statement of religious and artistic vision.


Excellent score by Peter Gabriel.  Outstanding performance by Willem Dafoe as Christ.  The film runs 164 minutes.  Scorsese was nominated by the Academy Awards for Best Director but lost out to Barry Levinson for Rain Man.  (Other films by Martin Scorsese include: Goodfellas, Raging Bull,  and Taxi Driver---all starring DeNiro.)


"Nikos Kazantzakis's radical, revisionist novel The Last Temptation of Christ redefines divinity through choice.  It suggests that if Jesus accepted his destiny triumphantly, in full awareness of another alternative, his spiritual example was thus greatly enhanced by a human dimension.  'That part of Christ's nature which was profoundly human,' Mr. Kazantzakis wrote in his introduction to this startling volume, 'helps us to understand him and love him and to pursue his Passion as though it were our own'" (From Janet Maslin's New York Times review of the film when it first came out). You are urged to read both this and other novels by Kazantzakis such as Zorba the Greek (which was made into a fine film starring Anthony Quinn).


Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.   Mark, 11:24


And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.  Mathew, 21:22


For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.  Mathew, 25:29


And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  There is none other commandment greater than these.  Mark, 12:30-31


Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  Luke, 6:28



                           Climb Mount Fuji,

                   O snail,

                           But slowly, slowly.


                                            Basho (17th century creator of the haiku form)














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