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March 24, 2010

Outlasting the Temptation of Nikos Kazantzakis


Image Source:https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7103/7274744896_1564c8dcae_b.jpg


Class,

In the comment box below,

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

Dr. Hobbs

_____________________________________

To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at March 24, 2010 08:19 AM

Readers' Comments:

ENG 226 (Honors) Students:

This is the entry we'll be using for our Early 20th Century and Kazantzakis discussions and homework assignments (do not post items due here elsewhere or you may not receive credit!). To complete course assignments, please follow the instructions you were given in class.

1. Your entry tickets should FIRST be submitted to turnitin.com and THEN here in the comment box below. Your entry tickets should have the question and the answer (I asked that you submit a version of the questions without answers as a hardcopy in class).

2. Your reading response--directed/based on a topic you selected from a list distributed in class--should also be submitted to turnitin.com and THEN here in the comment box below.

I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this . . .

Below, please enter your work on this text as prescribed in class.

The following are some "clips" from the film adaptation of this book (Scorsese) that we may discuss in class in comparison to the text.



Video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6SxJlS5OjY
Caption: At the monastery, Jesus speaks with a monk about his views on what is happening to him. It's not what you'd expect. The monk seems just as surprised as his audience might be.


Video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=747U-5FclqM
Caption: Here is the famous story of Jesus defending the prostitute from being stoned. The narrative uses the legend that the prostitute was Mary Magdalene, someone that the Jesus of this version has a special affinity for (should that make a difference?). Notice that in this construction of the narrative, Jesus's ministry has not yet begun. Some of the later disciples (Peter speaks from the crowd) are the ones assisting in the stoning.


Video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrkvzdYNiFE
Caption: After his meeting with the Baptist, Jesus goes into the desert to seek more vision/clarification on his mission. In his loneliness (40 days), thirst, and hunger, Satan tempts him in a variety of ways. There, he had three visitors (incarnations of Satan), two of them being a Lion and then an Archangel. Before these two, however, he was visited by another Satanic herald. This visitor, which represents his "soul," comes in the guise of a snake--an appropriate traditional symbol.


Video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZXb2ofaeQw
Caption: Once Jesus is finally ready to begin his ministry, he first takes his message to the people he loves most, the people of Nazareth--his hometown. He doesn't get the reception he'd hoped for and this first attempt at spreading his message is a dismal failure.


Video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rtCxmNEttQ
Caption: After Jesus is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane (betrayed by his friend Judas), he is brought before the Roman Governor installed in Jerusalem, Pontias Pilate. Pilate wants to learn more about the mystique surrounding Jesus and Jesus lets him know more about what he is all about. Pilate reminds Jesus about all the skulls already on Golgotha from people like him who want to change things.


Video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJvRdwqctn0
Caption: In my opinion, this is one of the key scenes of the story (and probably MUCH more controversial than the idea of Jesus being married). After being rescued in secret from the cross, Jesus grows old, marries several wives who bear him children and lives out his life far away from where his ministry began (probably so he wouldn't be recognized by those that knew him--including the law). One day, he encounters Saul of Tarsus (Paul)...a Jewish man preaching to Greeks about a person named Jesus of Nazareth who died for the world’s sins. He comes to a frightening realization.


Video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxt4Qq76vB0
Caption: After years of living in seclusion, Jesus has grown old. Because his disciples "thought" he had died and been resurrected, the Christian religion was invented and developed without him (based on his message of love) despite the fact that he secretly lived on, married, and had children. Now, due to incessant warfare with Jewish Zealots, Jerusalem is being burned to the ground by the Romans (probably around the year 70), just as Jesus has predicted during his ministry (this temple will be rent in two!). Overwhelming guilt for his "choice" made on the cross (the last temptation) has brought Jesus back to Jerusalem where his old disciples find him alive. Most surprised, and disappointed, is Judas. This is the final (and redemptive) scene of the film. Alternate-reality/Dreamworld Jesus disappears and the traditional Jesus reappears where he is expected to be.


Video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbLEhTuCsb8
Caption: As a final thought (and, as a final point of discussion), here are the thoughts of Siskel and Ebert, from 1988, on Scorsese's adaption of Kazantzakis's novel.


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Muriel Clemens
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 226 Survey of English Literature II (Honors)
March 31, 2010
Entry Ticket #5

The Last Temptation of Christ
By
Nikos Kazantzakis

Question:
Why do you think Kazantzakis made Jesus so human?
Answer:
The Jesus we read about in the New Testament seems more god-like then human. Kazantzakis has made Jesus more like us. The biblical Jesus is very patient. The only time we see him lose his temper is at the temple. He cares for and loves everyone. Most of us have a hard time relating to this. Sometimes we simply need to see him as human. We need to know that perhaps Jesus struggled with the battle between spirit and flesh.

Posted by: M. Clemens at March 31, 2010 11:07 PM

Tommy Tagliavia
April 1st, 2010
Entry Ticket 4
The Last Temptation of Christ Entry Ticket


1. In the beginning of the book, Jesus was asked who is “tormenting” him and why he was washed away. Who was tormenting him and why?
Jesus was tormented by God, his father. He responded without saying that it was God who was tormenting him because it was his secret and he did not want it to escape from him and cause chaos. The village people still did not know yet that the boy was God’s son, Jesus. God was tormenting Jesus because God had a dream of what he wanted Jesus to fulfill in his shoes while on Earth.
2. What is this novels attitude towards women? How is it compared to the play A Doll’s House?
Women in this book are treated pretty low. They have no high role or importance in this novel. The only woman who has any part of being important would be Mary, because she was Jesus’ mother. Compared to Ibsen’s A Doll’s House the woman here have more role and influences than in The Last Temptation of Christ. In the book women have no enforcement or rights, at least in A Doll’s House Nora had rights and stood up for herself. In the time of the book The Last Temptation of Christ, women have no rights to do anything.

Reference:
The Last Temptations of Christ; Nikos Kazantzakis

Posted by: tommy at April 1, 2010 01:14 AM

Mary Strand
ENG 226
Dr. Hobbs
March 30, 2010

Is Kazantzakis’s novel, The Last Temptation of Christ, a blasphemous work, or a modern approach on telling the complex story of Christ’s life?

I believe that Kazantzakis’s novel is a complex story that brings about a whole new line of thinking for many people. Not only is the morality of Christ jeopardized in the text but, also the faith of its readers could be as well. Those that view it as blasphemy will never change their minds because they are set in the ways of their faith, and will object to anything that could potentially compromise it. Those, like me, see Kazantzakis’s work not as blasphemy, but a unique display of his love for and interpretation of his creator. Jesus was displayed as God but this characteristic was reciprocated by his pure human nature and instincts. I would like to think that Jesus was a man, and like all people of this earth, he was not perfect in every sense of the word.
In the prologue of his novel, Kazantzakis says, “Every man partakes of the nature in both his spirit and his flesh. That is why the mystery of Christ is not simply a mystery for a particular creed: it is universal. The struggle between God and man breaks out in everyone…” Every man of faith, throughout their life, is ultimately grasping their own perspective of their creator, and loving and serving him. Kazantzakis did not have the answers, but he had a story that would change the way many believers and nonbelievers went about looking for them. Jesus has been known as a pure and holy man, but what if he struggled with his destined path?! What if temptation won him over and he possibly had instinctual sexual thoughts? These ideas to the majority of believers are of pure blasphemy and would never be acceptable. Kazantzakis’s story is a unique depiction of Christ’s life and struggles which compromises faith, but helps put it back together in a unique way.

Posted by: Mary at April 1, 2010 08:50 AM

Diana Parizon
Dr. Hobbs
English 226 – Honors
1 April 2010
Entry-Ticket #5

Question: On page 157-158, Judas and Jesus come to the subject about death during their conversation. Jesus states “Death is not a door which closes; it is a door which opens. It opens, and you enter… the bosom of God.” What does Jesus mean with this statement? In addition, what path does Jesus choose to follow and why?

Answer: Judas still cannot believe or trust Jesus, so he keeps asking Jesus various questions, one of which was the question if Jesus feared Death. Normally, during Jesus’s time, people feared God and believed that He eagerly punished mankind. Upon the Roman occupation in Israel, the Jews started fearing God. However, Jesus does not, at least, not at this point of the story. Before, he feared God, who kept pushing Jesus to speak up until He took actions, and opened Jesus’s mouth himself. Jesus was destined to become the Messiah; nonetheless, Jesus fought as much as he could to deny his destiny by willingly opposing His direction (lying, being a hypocrite, building crosses). Once Jesus allowed God to lead him, he ceased to fear Death. Death is “the Bosom of God”. Kazantzakis’s word choice of “bosom” in this context means that one has warmth and closeness to another person, so this means they trust each other, but “bosom” for me can also represent nurture. A woman’s bosom nourishes an infant, causing the child to grow strong and healthy, thus Death can only mean one is strong and healthy after life on earth. Jesus tries to convince Judas that God is not fearful, but rather, is like a father who protects and loves everyone on this earth. And if one dies, he or she will leave the earthly life, but will continue to live in paradise for eternity.

Works cited
Kazantzakis, Nikos. The Last Temptation of Christ. Trans. P.A. Bien. New York:
Faber&Faber, 1988.

Posted by: D.Parizon at April 1, 2010 08:55 AM

Katie Ganning
Dr. B. L. Hobbs
ENG226: Survey of World Literature II
1 April 2010
Temptation is Everywhere

1. How does the lust for someone is Jesus’ life overpower his love for God?
When Jesus is a young man, he believes that he wants to be with Mary Magdalene and to marry her, but God’s feelings over power him causing him to not choose a wife and live the life he was called to do. Since God is his father, he is called to obey his father’s wishes, even though he wants to be with Magdalene. Eventually, temptation draws him to believe that he wants her in order to be happy which leads him to anger that the world and Satan want to happen to him. At the end of Jesus’ life, he realizes that this was all part of God’s plan, for him to fall into the likings of the world and the pain each man feels in order to free the people from falling into the hands of Satan.
2. As much as he wants to be with Magdalene, why does the obeying of his parents eventually take control of his life?
Whether one wants to become like their parents or not, through the nature of our family and the nurture of the world, eventually we gain the traits of each of our parents. As our parents let us move on in the world alone, they know we may fall and sometimes they try and help, but overtime we are able to recollect what we are taught as children and young adults and become like our parents in ways to satisfy our own life. Even though Jesus at first does not want to be the Messiah as a young man, he eventually takes the role which his father has called for him to do, which is to be crucify and die for man. God knew his son would fall for the temptations of the world and possibly even try to leave his role in life, but since he is the creator of the world and has some control of what the world does, his son would come back to his reason for living and take on the task he was really meant for.

Works Cited
Kazantzakis, Nikos. The Last Temptation of Christ. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1960.

Posted by: Katie Ganning at April 1, 2010 09:46 AM

Dawn Serzanin
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 226 H
1 April 2010
Entry Ticket
1. In the play Mary of Magdalene is a prostitute similar to the traditional story of Jesus’ life. Do you think it seems like Kazantzakis wanted to show Jesus feeling sympathy towards women by using Mary in this sense?
It seems that Kazantzakis uses Mary of Magdalene to show the emotion of sympathy in Jesus. It almost seems as if he feels sorry for her and her profession. Jesus travels a distance to tell Mary that he feels bad for her in this novel as well. It almost seems as if he was feeling guilty for what she did as her job.

2. Why do you think Kazantzakis uses the lion as one of Jesus’ temptations?
Often times in religion the lion symbolizes God, because of its majesty and dominance in the wild. A lion represents a thought of warrior like qualities which is what the lion was trying to convince Jesus to be. Kazantzakis uses the lion as a beautiful strong temptation to catch Jesus’ attention and make him try to believe war is the answer to everything Jesus had been worried about.

Posted by: Dawn at April 1, 2010 10:31 AM

Dana Jennings
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-226
1-4-10

Entry Ticket: Last Temptation

1. Why do the Rabbi and Mary both find it difficult to believe that Jesus is more than a burdensome young man?

A. The Rabbi and Mary, like the Apostles after them, must have difficulties recognizing Jesus for what he is, the Son of God. This is to denote Jesus’ suffering at the hands of those closest to him, molding him into the man he will become, i.e. the God he will become.

2. Why did Kazantzakis decide to make Mary Magdalene’s profession that of a prostitute?

A. Mary being a prostitute is a source of the shame and guilt that Jesus feels for his actions, or inactions, towards her, as he believes he caused her degradation into her chosen profession. While she even acknowledges that her encounter with Jesus spurred her to prostitution, to say that he forced her into the profession is absurd; she chose her life of sin on her own. Her profession also gives Jesus a physical manifestation of her temptation towards him. She already is a temptation for him, but with her willingness to give her body to any man, she represents a temptation he could have at any time.

Posted by: Dana Jennings at April 1, 2010 10:46 AM

Patricia Pothier
Survey of World Lit.
Dr. Hobbs

1. One of the biggest controversies stemming from Kazantzakis’ novel is the human quality he gave to his main character Jesus through the use of fear. Why is the use of fear as a temptation so controversial?
a. Nikos Kazantzakis took the beginning of Christianity and put his own spin on it. In the prologue Kazantzakis states that Christ had a “yearning, so human, so superhuman of man to attain to God… or to return to god and identify himself with him.” After reading this passage we are left with the impression that Jesus, being God in the flesh, was working diligently to become like God. This suggests that Jesus could have chosen to give in to the temptation he faced at any moment sacrificing the salvation of the human race. One of the biggest issues facing the church today is that of predestination. In Romans 8:29 of the bible it is written, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Over the years followers of Christ have used this verse along with other verse much like it to suggest that God predetermines who will be saved and who will not. This however eliminates the need for free will as if God has already chosen you; you do not have a choice. If Jesus cannot overcome his fear of being the messiah, it is possible that after experiencing the dream of marrying and raising a family like a mortal human man, Jesus would not fulfill his Father’s work. Many Bible thumpers were angered at the novel for suggesting that God might not be omniscient in that his own Son could choose to defy him. Also, that such a brave savior who sacrificed his life for the salvation of humanity was at first no better than a common human is blasphemous as it brings Jesus down to a lower level. At the outset of the novel it is understood that Jesus, though the Son of God, suffers from night terrors which leave him almost paralyzed with fear upon awakening. His fear causes him to run to the desert and at times deny that he is the true messiah. For Jesus to have carnal desires is contrary to the belief that Jesus was perfect and all Christians should strive to be like him. Also if Jesus was God in the flesh, it also suggests that God is imperfect.

2. Nikos Kazantzakis humanized Jesus by placing several temptations in front of him. What were they and what did they represent?
a. Mary was depicted as a prostitute tempting Jesus to sin. She represents his carnal desire to lust for a woman, to engage in premarital sex, and possibly have and raise a family. These are the desires of man. Jesus is tempted by a lion which represents another struggle that he faces. He can become a warrior king like that of King David. He is also tempted by the archangel. The angel tells Jesus that he can live the life of a mortal.

Posted by: Patricia Pothier at April 1, 2010 10:53 AM

Branka Trivanovic
ENG 226 [HONORS]
Due April 1, 2010
Entry Ticket #5
Q. 1) In Nikos Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ, what is Jesus’ profession? Why are people so upset with him for it?
A. 1) In the book, just as in the Bible, Jesus’ profession is that of a carpenter, but the reason why people are mad at him in the book for it-- and why they view his as a traitor is because he is a Cross maker for the Romans who. The Romans are using the crosses to execute Jewish people and that gives Jesus and his family a bad name because he is essentially helping the Romans execute his own people.
Q. 2) Jesus goes to Magdala to see Mary Magdalene to apologize to her. Do you think that he should feel guilty for her choosing to be a prostitute or is it her own shame and blame?
A. 2) On page 89, Jesus arrives in Magdala and upon seeing Mary and her line of clients waiting to be pleased, he feels guilty and begs for her forgiveness once his “turn” comes. She shoots him down and tells him to get out of her yard. She says that it is too late and that she does not want God. He tells her not to blame God, that is it his fault to which she retorts that they are one in the same. They have the same “snout”.
In my personal opinion, it is Mary’s own fault that she is a whore. It is not as if Jesus told her to go sleep with a bunch of men. Their child’s play might have opened a door to her sexuality but in the end it is her own choice to sleep with all those men. She could have gotten married and been satisfied that way but she wanted to make money and she did not seem the least bit concerned with what she was doing. She was willing to risk her life by “working” on the Sabbath. If she’s not afraid of being punished by man or God, then she has no one else to blame for her situation. If I was Jesus, I don’t know that I would have apologized, but I’m not Jesus so my opinion doesn’t really matter.

Posted by: Branka T at April 1, 2010 10:55 AM

Antonette Boynes
HON ENG 226
Dr. Hobbs
04-03-2010

The Last Temptation of Christ Reading Response

The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis is one of the books that I probably would have been very uncomfortable reading before taking some of the previous courses at this school, mainly because of its orientation. It seemingly contradicts some of the things in the Bible, which is something I do not condone because of my Christian faith. Nevertheless, there is something I would like to discuss from the book.
Jesus is portrayed very human in the novel as having very earthly qualities and characteristics. His ambivalent feelings toward carrying out God’s will of him being crucified is shown. He shows lucid signs of depression and reluctance as he continuously questions himself over and over again. Symptoms of lust, fear, and doubt are also illustrates as the book continues throughout His time of temptation. At one point it appears as though Jesus has given into the temptation of the devil when he says that the devil is inside him. This shows weak faith in God because a real, true, deep faith would not question the commands of the master, but thinking about the pain and anguish that he would suffer on that cross would lead just about anyone to question their destiny.
I found it very ironic that Pilate and Barabbas attempted to cease the crucifixion of Jesus, but the other people rioted to let the thief go, and continued with the execution of a man who did nothing to them. I think this was a motion to prove, like in the “Our Father’s Prayer,” God’s will will be done. Jesus could have protested and easily be saved from the crucifixion, but had that happened, then the world would not be able to be saved form sin.
There is one very positive conclusion that I can draw from this book that is not straightforwardly explained, but can be implied. Although many see The Last Temptation of Christ as an account of Jesus’s journey throughout His temptation in a human mind state, as Kazantzakis intended, I think that it serves as a great guidance for people in general showing that even though the mind and soul may be tempted, that is not the reason to give in, and in fact it may be concluded that Jesus after all had a deep faith because he was afraid, and you are supposed to Fear God!

Posted by: Antonette Boynes at April 3, 2010 02:07 PM



Branka Trivanovic


ENG 226 [HONORS]


Due April 6, 2010




READING RESPONSE #5




The Last Temptation of Christ is a book that has been controversial since it was first published back in 1960. Originally written in Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis, the book was translated into English by P.A. Bien.


The story follows the story of Jesus and his life and struggles from his perspective. A carpenter and Cross-maker for the Romans, Jesus and his family are somewhat disliked in Nazareth. The story starts off on a rather negative note with Jesus having a dream about being chased by a “redbeard”. In his dream he is pursued at “The One”, but looking at the description of his declining health, even Jesus finds it hard to believe that he is the one that will save the world. On top of being somewhat emaciated, Jesus also suffers from terrible attacks from an invisible vulture claw. Before bed, Jesus whips himself with “a strap studded with two rows of sharp nails” in hopes of bleeding out the painful attack and any temptation that might come to him in his sleep (13). Jesus’ uncle Simeon insists that God is the one “tormenting” Jesus, not the devil and thus there can be no exorcism. Jesus, in an attempt to get rid of God commits sins, but none the less, it is constantly foreshadowed that he is the Son of David. As the story goes on, Jesus comes to the realization that the redbeard for his dream is in fact Judas. Judas on the other hand ponders the possibility of Jesus being The One…


There are many facets related to this book that it would take nearly as long as the book is long to describe them. The main theme of the book is to show Jesus’ struggle between being a “regular man” and having fears, being doubtful, and lusting versus accepting his fate as the one who will wear David’s crown. Many times he questions if he is really “The One”. The idea was put into his head at a very young age by a gypsy who looked at his palm, but he has a hard time accepting who he is because he is so guilt ridden. ONE of his biggest obstacles in the book is that of Mary Magdalene. He blames himself for her choosing to become a prostitute because they used to play naked together when they were kids. He goes as far as begging for her forgiveness while she was whoring herself out in Magdala. He saved her life when the people wanted to stone her upon finding out that she was “working” during the Sabbath. One of the temptations that Jesus experienced while spending three days in the desert was that of a snake coming to him and telling him to forget about everything else and to go marry Magdalene and live a “normal” life. Jesus receives a sign in the wind to say no and after the snake explodes, Jesus weeps for what he has lost.


As hard as saying no to Magdalene was to him, his biggest test of faith and FATE was when he was crucified. The pain of the moment led him to faint and in his unconscious state he saw what life would have been life for him had he given into the temptation… He awoke next to a flowering tree and his wounds were being healed. He is greeted by an angel who leads him to pleasures that Jesus has long waited for, including that of Mary Magdalene. This happiness is short-lived, however, because not too long afterward, Magdalene is killed by Saul. Jesus is then taken to Bethany where he marries two women—Martha and Mary, works as a carpenter and has children.
The thing that made him snap back into reality and into the realization that he did NOT give into the final temptation of humanity was the visit from a few old friends… Judas starts to berate Jesus calling him a traitor and a deserter. These words hurt him and after a while of listening, Jesus admits that he is a coward. Soon the scene fades away and Jesus finds himself on the Cross yet again. This time he is happy because he knows that he has done what he was called forth to do. “He uttered a triumphant cry: IT IS ACCOMPLISHED!” (496)



Works Cited


Kazantzakis, Nikos. The Last Temptation of Christ. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1960.


Posted by: Branka T at April 6, 2010 01:43 AM

Mary Strand
ENG 226
Dr. Hobbs
April 5, 2010

Reverse
The ‘modern’ style of writing started to emerge during the late 18th century and is still seen in some artists’ works today. This style was used to question the world and the truths that were widely accepted throughout it. Many different styles and techniques surfaced during this period, in order for authors to portray his or her arguments against traditions. The reversal of traditional roles is one of the many modernist techniques that have been and are used to present ideas and themes in a nontraditional manner.
In chapter twenty nine of Nikos Kazantzakis’, The Last Temptation of Christ, Jesus is brought to Pilate, in what seems to be Pilate’s last attempt to let Jesus redeem himself, and his fate. Within this scene I felt that there were two reversals of traditional roles which lent Kazantzakis a hand in presenting his ideas.
On page 437, Pilate orders his guards to scourge Jesus and dress him in a crown of thorns, with a scepter so he can be presented to the people. The way in which Pilate went about doing this, to me was very ironic. Nikos says, “Ha had devised to present him to the people in this pitiful state, hoping they would feel sorry for him.” Accepted, is the idea that Jesus’ crown of thorns was placed on his head to make a complete mockery of the Word he had been spreading. But, in this modernist re-telling of the story, Pilate did this to potentially save Jesus’ life. Could Kazantzakis have possibly changed Pilate into a sympathetic and almost accepting ruler? I believe so. Pilate seemed to be unsure of whether or not what Jesus had done was deserving of death. This non-traditional role of Pilate changes the way he was presented in the Biblical telling of Jesus’ death.
The second reversal of roles I feel is worth mentioning, and also correlates with the first, is the way in which Pilate places Jesus’ fate in the hands of the people. He asks them which of the two, Jesus or Barabbas, they would like to see crucified. Pilate has the power to decide the fate of Jesus, and most traditional rulers would have not taken so much time to decipher the fate of a lowly ‘prophet’; as was done in the Biblical telling of Jesus’ death. After the people have shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!,” Pilate says “I wash and rinse my hands,” he said. “It is not I who spill his blood, I am innocent. May the sin fall on you” (page 357). Pilate is not willing to accept the blame for the death of Jesus, the lowly prophet, unlike many traditional rulers. Although he made not have made known his wish to be free of the blame, his role of prosecutor was turned over to the people in this instance which changes the traditional view of the roman ruler.
With Kazantzakis’ modernist retelling of Jesus story, and the many techniques used to alter the story, the truth of how Jesus came to death can be questioned. Kazantzakis story brings about many questions concerning the way events in Jesus’ life came about, which I believe is exactly the way he wanted to present his argument or tradition.

Reference
Kazantzakis, Nikos. The Last Temptation of Christ. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.

Posted by: Mary Strand at April 6, 2010 07:41 AM

Diana Parizon
Dr. Hobbs
English 226 – Honors
6 April 2010
Mary: Human or Holy?

Nikos Kazantzakis started questioning the life of Jesus in his book “The Last Temptation of Christ,” but in addition, the life of Mary and her character is put into question. As is commonly taught in Christian tradition, Mary was a very young and innocent girl who favored God, and followed God’s will to bear Jesus. God chose her because of her faith; however, Kazantzakis questions her faith by portraying Mary as a very heartbroken woman who feels betrayed by God.
As portrayed in the Bible, Mary was the one encouraging Jesus to fulfill his first miracle by turning water to wine at a wedding he attended. Conversely, in Kazantzakis’s story, Mary could never really accept Jesus’s fate of becoming a Messiah, and sobs during his journey of becoming one. Instead of helping Jesus dealing with his mental disturbance caused by God (Jesus rebels against God’s will), helping accepting her son’s fate, as the traditional Mary from the bible would have done, Mary, in Kazantzakis version, longed for a daughter-in-law and many grandchildren. She even went as far as to state: “I don’t want my son to be a saint…I want him to be a man like all the rest. I want him to marry and give me grandchildren” (Kazantzakis 169). Instead of understanding and helping her son follow God’s will; she hoped God would let Jesus live a life as an ordinary man. She wanted her son to follow Joseph’s footsteps “build troughs, cradles, plows, and household utensils…” (Kazantzakis 64). It is as though Mary not know before Jesus’s birth that Joseph was not his father. Mary constantly asked God: “Lord, pity my son” (Kazantzakis 59). The Biblical Mary would have never made such a absurd request
Mary did not see herself as special, but rather, cursed to be chosen as the Mother of the son of God. She tries to deny who she really is. She wants to be a normal woman, as she says: “I am like all woman” (Kazantzakis 63). Subsequently, she wants Jesus to be a normal man. She feels God cursed her with her status as a widow and that God sent her “but one boy, and he a blemished one” (Kazantzakis 167). I personally, can understand Mary’s point of view if one understands the lifestyle during Jesus year. Not only was Jesus different than any other man; Mary also was different than any other woman, and to be different than others is always difficult to handle and accept. She also, just like Jesus, tries to ignore God’s will. Another point to consider is that Jesus, at one point, did not acknowledge Mary as his mother, but the crowd that followed him as his mothers and brothers and saw God as his father, as opposed to Joseph. Kazantzakis just wanted to show the human side of Mary. Whether or not she felt this way, can never be known, but at least due to Kazantzakis, Mary’s Biblical strength and faithfulness can be more thoroughly appreciated.

Works Cited
Kazantzakis, Nikos. Teh Last Temptation of Christ. Trans. P.A. Bien. New York:
Simon&Schuster, 1988.

Posted by: D. Parizon at April 6, 2010 08:57 AM

Dana Jennings
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-226
6-4-10

Judas Saves

The Last Temptation of Christ is a unique and eye-opening look into the life of Jesus, who is someone most Christians believe they know and understand. Jesus is an unsympathetic character for much of the first half of the novel, and other characters are treated out of the norm for most Christian followers. Judas is shown to be Jesus’ strongest and most ardent follower, and this is why Jesus has to convince him to betray him: “God will give you the strength…it is necessary for me to be killed and for you to betray me. We two must save the world. Help me” (421). Judas is traditionally seen as simply a necessary evil that betrayed Christianity’s messiah, but in this novel he is given a chance to show his humanity and suffering.

I believe that Kazantzakis weaves a compelling story and gives humanity to a character that is mistakenly usually seen as a divine entity only. Throughout my blasphemous childhood, the snippets I heard of Jesus was of his being the Lord, and that he loves everyone. Although this is a very weak understanding of Christianity, and I have since learned much more, it is indicative of what is learned outside of the church’s walls. It is known by history that Jesus Christ walked the earth two thousand years ago, and that he became a symbol for billions of men and women, but what is it to see what he might have been like in his head at the time? What it is to really feel that he is human, flesh and blood, not wine and crackers? These are the poignant questions that Kazantzakis attempts to answer, or at least start people thinking about them. This is his power of the novel.

This text is a story; Kazantzakis never meant for it to be canon. Beliefs aside, when people get offended by his novel, it is because they are attempting to place it into their biblical understanding of their Lord and savior. That wasn’t his intent, although he probably anticipated it. Jesus is shown with the humanity we all share insomuch as an attempt to show the struggle of our own lives and give the belief and faith that we can be saved in the afterlife.

Work Cited
Kazantzakis, Nikos. The Last Temptation of Christ. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1988. Print

Posted by: dana Jennings at April 6, 2010 10:52 AM

Patricia Pothier
Survey of World Literature
Dr. Hobbs

At the outset of the novel, Kazantzakis discusses his desire to portray the struggle he suffered internally between his spirit and flesh. It is almost as if Kazantzakis is describing his own inner struggle to further humanize Jesus. By stating that the “anguish has been intense”, he tells of a battleground within him that raged between his immortal soul and his weakened flesh. Kazantzakis’ depicts an antihero who suffers from a condition that is strikingly similar to that of his own. By closely relating his struggle with the saviors, the author scandalously humanizes Jesus, attempting to bring the story home on a more personal level with his audience.
Kazantzakis proposes that the birth of his struggle comes from a “weak soul”, which “does not have the endurance to resist the flesh” (2). This bold statement implies that the flesh is what leaves the soul apart from God because it is weak and prone to sin. His flesh diminishes his capacity to defy temptation because it is where his sin originates from. In the novel, Jesus follows down the same dwindling path as he struggles with the very same conflict. Though he has been made aware of his destiny he still fears it and is for a long time unable to overcome it. Fighting against what he knows to be his primordial duty, the very reason he was created by God, he becomes like his followers, a lost sheep.
Kazantzakis’ description of his own inner demons is painstakingly beautiful as he reveals a yearning and a burning passion for reconciliation with his spiritual maker. He further attempts to universalize his desire: “The struggle between God and man breaks out in everyone” (2).
Kazantzakis writes the “struggle between the flesh and the spirit, rebellion and resistance, reconciliation, submission, and finally—the supreme purpose of the struggle—union with God” (2). Kazantzakis states that a stronger soul will fight to attain this union with the Lord but the reward will be sweeter. He uses the prologue as a biography to represent his struggle as that of Jesus’. Just as God “does not love weak souls and flabby flesh” (2), Kazantzakis fights to rid himself of such a disgrace just as the hero which he writes about did. Although the novel conveys a story much different than the Biblical tale, often considered sacrilegious, Kazantzakis does well to generalize the fight. Just as Jesus struggled to accept his fate and follow through, Kazantzakis labors to fend off the weakness and temptation that stems from his body. The tale of the last temptation and its’ author collide in a riveting story of the battle that rages within us all; one which forces humans to appreciate Jesus’ life tale whether we have faith in him or not.

Posted by: Patricia Pothier at April 6, 2010 03:19 PM

Muriel Clemens
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 226 Survey of English Literature II (Honors)
April 6, 2010
Reading Response 5

The Conundrum That is
The Last Temptation of Christ
By
Nikos Kazantzakis

In reading The Last Temptation of Christ I was puzzled by many of the statements and references that were made in the story. This story was very involved and full of symbolism so the things I questioned I didn’t take lightly, but time was not on my side and I could not do more research. Kazantzakis used terminology that was incorrect for the time period and it made me wonder what his reasoning was. In chapter two he describes Rabbi Simeon and he says: “The two skeleton hands with their monstrous, birdlike talons squeezed the sacerdotal crosier with the pair of entwined snakes at its top and banged it down on stone” (Kazantzakis 20). The word sacerdotal (Merriam-Webster 637) means priestly and crosier (Merriam-Webster 172) is a ceremonial staff carried by a bishop or an abbot. These are Christian terms and I can’t help but feel he is using these terms for a reason.
In chapter eight we learn about the Monastery and Joachim the Abbot. In all of my research I have been unable to find a Jewish Monastery that may have existed during the time of Jesus. When we think of Monasteries we usually think of a group of celibate men living together in one big happy family but in the Jewish communities of Christ’s time, celibacy was an exception and not the rule. There were a few very small Jewish communities that did practice celibacy, but it was not part of the Jewish belief system. It was pointed out to me that perhaps Kazantzakis was referring to the Essenes and the remains found at Qumran, but the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls was in it’s infancy at the time this book was written and there is no definitive proof that the Essenes were the people who were at Qumran. This is a subject that is creating a great deal of debate in the academic world right now.
The next conundrum is in chapter six. We are introduced to the “The Curse.” A being that is “covered head to foot with interlocking scales of thick bronze armor. But the head was not a human head; it was an eagle’s with yellow eyes and a crooked beak which grasped a mouthful of flesh” (Kazantzakis 79). This being and what she might represent fascinated me. In all my research I was unable to find anything on such a creature. Perhaps she was the part of his soul that was meant to do the right thing and sacrifice himself for the good of humanity. Armor usually represents a warrior and eagles are seen as majestic. Could she have been his honorable side, the part of himself he feared the most because of the sacrifice he knew he would have to make? I wish I knew the answer.
The Last Temptation of Christ was a book that I really enjoyed reading and once I got past all the historical inconsistencies I began to wonder why Kazantzakis would make Judaism more Christian. There has to be a reason and I wish I had the time to do more research. This was a fascinating book and I look forward to seeing the movie.

Works Cited

Kazantzakis, Nikos, and Peter Bien. The Last Temptation of Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998. Print.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 2004. Print.

Posted by: M. Clemens at April 13, 2010 10:50 AM

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Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at April 14, 2010 04:08 PM

Deirdre Rowan
Dr. Hobbs
English 410 CA01 Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
25 January 2015

"The young man leaned against the wall and listened. The light struck the houses, doors opened, the streets came to life. Little by little the morning murmur rose from the earth and trees, and slid out through the cracks in the house: Nazareth was awakening." (Chapter 2, page 20, P. A. Bein translation)

Question: Why does Kazantzakis take the time to look at how Jesus' day begins? What is the significance of this information in understanding Jesus as a human?

Answer: Kazantzakis wants to convey that as a man, Jesus noticed these details even if they were not essential to his mission. Facts such as "[h]e shook out the [wood] shavings which had become tangled in his armpits and beard" (Kazantzakis 20), emphasis how Jesus knows about the small struggles and experiences that mankind goes through in life. This brings him more "down to earth" by becoming more relatable, a savior whose sacrifice is better appreciated than if it were done by a immortal deity that just came in, solved the problem, and then left.

Posted by: Deirdre Rowan at January 25, 2015 02:19 AM

Emily Finck
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
26 January 2015


“She was the one thing missing from our Paradise. Yes, we forgot Eve, and now we’ll certainly be delighted to see her!” (The Last Temptation of Christ, Ch. 12, page 170, Nikos Kazantzakis).


Question:
In what ways does the Mary Magdalene compare to Eve from John Milton’s Paradise Lost?


Answer:
Mary Magdalene in Nikos Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ compares to Eve from Milton’s Paradise Lost in the way she has fallen from the “grace” of her peers, as Eve fell from the grace of god’s paradise. Eve was tempted to stray from the path laid out of for her due to the temptation. Magdalene fell from the grace of society and turned to the temptation of “prostitution” upon discovering she and Jesus could not be together (Kazantzakis 85-86). Eve caused the damnation to all humans according to Milton, and, thus, set in motion the failure of all who stray from the predestined path. Eve was cast down from heaven for sinning just as Magdalene was cast out of society for being a “whore” (Kazantzakis 172).

Posted by: Emily Finck at January 25, 2015 07:34 PM

Marissa Elam

ENG 410 Reading the Planet

Dr. Hobbs

26 January 2015

“Then, after a pause: ‘What good are angels to me, Salome? I want children and grandchildren to be following him, children and grandchildren, not angels!’


But old Salome’s eyes were filled with blue wings. Putting out her hand, she touched Mary’s breast and whispered to her as though confiding a great secret. ‘You are blessed, Mary, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.’”
(Chapter 13, page 190, par. 1-2, P.A. Bien translation)

QUESTION: Three women, Mary, Salome, and Mary Magdalene, are frequently mentioned in this particular chapter. How do these women differ in their perception of Jesus? What does each of these women desire or expect of Jesus?

ANSWER: In chapter thirteen of The Last Temptation of Christ, three women, in particular, appear to play an important role. Mary, the mother of Jesus, sees her son as a disappointment, as he has never acted as she believes a normal man should. Instead of getting married and providing her with children and grandchildren, as Mary hopes, Jesus wants to relay a message from God to the people: “You anointed my lips with honey, and instead, I cried, ‘Love! Love!’” (Kazantzakis 193).


Salome, the wife of Zebedee, appears to view Jesus more reverently. She appears to see that he is being guided by some divine thought, claiming to have seen “blue wings, thousands of blue wings behind him” and “whole armies of angels” (Kazantzakis 189). From Jesus, Salome appears to expect good things, telling Mary of the angels she saw in Jesus’ presence, as well as her belief that God has blessed Mary.


Mary Magdalene, the infamous prostitute of Magdala, also has a personal relationship with Jesus. In earlier chapters, she appeared to have considered him her means of salvation, the man who could marry her and take her away from the sinful life she was living. Initially, Mary Magdalene views Jesus as a coward because he will not act like a “real man.” However, once it is clear that he is unable to do anything of that nature for her, and once Jesus has spoken to the mass of people, Magdalene refers to him as her “brother” and says to Jesus, “I want to die for you, my child” (Kazantzakis 192). This particular interaction between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is tender, showing Magdalene’s absolute devotion to being a follower of Jesus, even telling him that she is willing to die for him.

Posted by: Marissa Elam at January 25, 2015 08:12 PM

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
26 January 2015

Chapter 1 Question: The Last Temptation of Christ
Why does the author feel the need to spend much of the first chapter explaining the Christ’s surroundings as he sleeps?

Nikos Kazantzakis spends the majority of the first chapter providing the reader with a view of the natural settings around Christ’s as he sleeps. The novel opens with the lines “Above, the blossoming skies had opened into a thick tangle of stars; below, on the ground, the stones were steaming, still afire from the great heat of the day,” (Kazantzakis 5). The first chapter continues with long descriptions of the settings around Christ. The author’s reasoning for these elaborate descriptions can only be assumed as helping to set up the narrative that he is about to put forth. Although the descriptions may seem unnecessary, they help to provide the reader with a context of where exactly Christ is and how this setting may somehow affect him later in the novel. The author does not put much into motion in the first chapter, as is the case with many novels, aside from the setting.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at January 25, 2015 09:27 PM

Question:
In chapter six, how does the author use pathos to develop the theory of a turning point in Jesus' life?


Answer:
Kazantzakis heavily uses pathos in the sixth chapter. We feel an excitement for Jesus at the beginning of the chapter. It transforms from a pattern of constant pity for the misfortune done to Jesus and his family in the previous text, into a happiness that he is "...free of the claws" (Chapter 6: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 67, par. 4), and also for the revelation "his desires were beginning to join with those of God (Chapter 6: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 67, par. 5)." These are harshly different tones than which the reader is accustomed to, this done to make a point of "goodness". Jesus' suffering had come from refusing God's will, which he begins to embrace. Then comes a rollercoaster of emotions; Jesus is terrified of the feet following him, embarrassed at the harassment from the farmers, humbled at his "holy" desire for the bread, and then all at once disappointed in human nature after his encounter with the old woman. The last feelings showing the readers justification for the yearning of seclusion. The author takes us through all of the previous emotions in order to show the disparity in Jesus' future with humanity. Forcing the thought that he must get away, the reader hopes for Jesus to reach the monastery, and ultimately safety.

Posted by: Ashtan Richey at January 25, 2015 10:26 PM

Kristen Collins


Dr. Hobbs


ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01


26 January 2015




“…other snakes emerged from the dried-up well or out of the sand…one with s blue hood, another green with two horns, others yellow, dappled, black….Quickly, like water, they slid forward and joined the first snake, the decoy; they strung themselves all together rubbing against the next, licked each other…
‘Jesus,’ he [Jeroboam] said in a low voice, ‘how does your heart feel?’” (Chapter 11: _The Last Temptation of Christ_, pg. 150 and 151, par. 1 and 2)




Question: With the purging of his body and soul, what transformations occurred within Jesus during the night after his confession? What are your opinions on the symbolism of the snakes: whether it be the physical beings, the metaphoric meaning, the biblical connotations, and/or other forms of symbolic meaning?




Answer: The removal of the of the taint of Jesus’s body and soul created a clear pathway for God to bestow His knowledge once again and will, once again continuing the progress of Jesus becoming the Messiah. The transformation has more to deal with his purity and outlook on who and what God is. His views change to “turning the other cheek” rather than letting anger and hatred guide his actions as a man. Since Jesus is still more man than God, he still holds a great deal of fear within him. Instead of fearing the inevitability of death though, Jesus is more afraid of how he needs to save the rest of humankind.


Snakes hold a multitude of meaning in the novel, both biblical and not. For the biblical side, the snake can represent temptation and sin from the story of Adam and Eve where the devil disguises himself as a serpent. Tying that with the purging, each of the snakes represent a different sin that is being taken out of the repented body and soul of Christ. The other example is from other myths and stories where the snake is a creature closely associated with water (and water is a symbol of femininity). With this, it is obvious that the snakes are of a sexual nature and Jeroboam sees them as a lust-inducing sight. And if the snakes are feminine, it represents the purging of Jesus’s lust for woman and Magdalene.

Posted by: Kristen Collins at January 25, 2015 11:54 PM

Hannah McCafferty
Dr. Hobbes
ENG 410
25 January 2015

“’You’re a sheep, son of Mary,” he said to him regularly, splitting with laughter, ‘but you’ve got a wolf inside you and this wolf is going to eat you up!’” (Chapter 9: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 129, par. 3)

Question: In Chapter 9, Jesus runs into his old friend Thomas the peddler, and he remembers what Thomas used to say about Jesus. At this point in the novel, how does Jesus represent a sheep? What do you think the wolf inside Jesus is and how do you believe it will “eat” him up?

Answer: Kazantzakis’ representation of Jesus is a unique one. Jesus is unsure and afraid, something that most novels leave out. At the beginning of this chapter, Jesus reflects on his life choices and the fears that he will have to overcome. One of his strongest desires is to save Magdalene, yet he is troubled and cannot decipher what is the best way to save her. Similarly, Jesus admits that he does not feel worthy of being a prophet, he wishes God would speak on his own and not use Jesus as a messenger. Jesus’ hesitance and cowardice towards accepting his role as a prophet match the timid personality of a sheep. However, religion and the love of God is the wolf inside of Jesus. Underneath his fearfulness rests a strong adoration for God and goodness. On Jesus’ journey, he will obtain a stronger conviction for what he believes is right. The wolf, his religious beliefs, will devour the sheep, his fears, which will ultimately prompt Jesus to become one of the most influential prophets.

Posted by: Hannah McCafferty at January 26, 2015 01:59 AM

Jahiedy Vinas
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet
26 January 2015


“’Yes, yes,’ he murmured, ‘you understand perfectly. Yes, on purpose; I do it on purpose. I want you to detest me, to go and find someone else; I want to be rid of you!'” (Chapter 3: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 28, P.A. Bien Greek Translation)


Question: In this depiction of Jesus, his humanity does not want to follow through with God’s vulture-like claws controlling his desires. What event and reasons push Jesus to want to spite God, and how does he do so?


Answer: Jesus wanted to marry Mary Magdalene when he went to Cana with his Mother to select a bride; but when God’s “ten claws nailed themselves into his head,” Jesus suffers a seizure and from that time on feels completely lost with his desires vanished (Kazantzakis 26). He feels responsible for Mary Magdalene becoming a prostitute and believes he could save her. Jesus also tells God he is “illiterate, an idler, afraid of everything,” wants to enjoy life, have a family and could care less about the Kingdom of Heaven (Kazantzakis 28). Jesus only desires to save Mary Magdalene, not humanity. He purposely wants to make God detest him and states he will continue being a carpenter who builds crosses so “the Messiahs [God] choose[s] can be crucified” (Kazantzakis 28).

Posted by: Jahiedy Vinas at January 26, 2015 01:59 AM

Lorie Jewell
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures CA01
26 January 2015

“But Magdalene exploded. ‘You and your God have the identical snout; you’re one and the same and I can’t tell you apart. Sometimes I happen to think of him at night, and when I do – curse the hour! – it’s with your face that he bears down on me out of the darkness; and when I chance to meet you on the street – curse the hour! – I feel that it’s still God I see rushing directly for me.’” (Chapter 7: Last Temptation of Christ, page 89, par. 9)

Question: Jesus is heading for the monastery, but feels he must make things right with Mary Magdalene so he stops by her home in Magdala to seek her forgiveness. This passage is part of her response. How is it that Magdalene sees – and feels – such a strong resemblance between Jesus and God, when his mother does not? Like many others, Magdalene is furious with both Jesus and God; what evidence is there that deep down, she has forgiven them?

Answer: Magdalene and Jesus have a special connection that traces back to their childhood. Mary brings it up during Jesus’ visit, reminding him of the time when she was four and he, three, when they lay together and ‘glued the soles of our feet together, felt the warmth of our bodies mix . . . Never in my whole life have I felt such sweetness.’ That could be the kiddie version of intercourse. Earlier Magdalene tells Jesus that for her to forget one man, she must give her body to all men, which explains why he feels responsible for her becoming a prostitute. Jesus recounts this childhood memory for the rabbi in Chapter 10, describing it as a ‘joyful sin’ that turned Mary into a lost woman who could not survive without men. As angry as Mary is with Jesus and God, we can see that she has forgiven them – whether she is aware of it or not – by her actions. Once she finishes yelling, she makes dinner for Jesus and insists that he get a good night’s sleep before continuing his journey. Since we already know that she sees Jesus and God as the same, what she does for Jesus, she does for God, too. She also reminds Jesus to say grace before they eat; it may have been a sarcastic gesture, but it still shows that she has an awareness of giving thanks to God. One final thought – this passage may possibly be the origin of the phrase ‘men are pigs.’

Posted by: Lorie Jewell at January 26, 2015 08:07 AM

Shawn DeJesus
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410CL Reading the Planet CA01
23 January 2015

“’Take me where you want, Lord; do with me what you will. You chose my husband, you presented me with my son, you gave me my suffering. You tell me to cry out and I cry out; you tell me to keep still and I keep still. What am I, Lord? A handful of mud in your hands, and you knead me as you please. Do what you want. There is only one thing I beg of you: Lord, pity my son!’” (Chapter 5: page 59, par. 3)


Question: Individual characters in The Last Temptation of Christ struggle with their faith in God in different ways and in different degrees of extremity. How might Mary’s suffering be unique from other characters in the novel?


Answer: Mary, as a mother, struggles with the fact that her son must carry such a heavy burden: the burden to save humankind. She must come to terms with the fact that in order to save humanity, her only son has to be sacrificed on the cross. For these reasons, Mary’s suffering is more personal and visceral compared to others.

Posted by: Shawn DeJesus at January 26, 2015 08:24 AM

Rebecca Maldonado
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet
25 January 2015

“Judas listened to him and knit his brows. He was not interested in the kingdom of heaven. His great concern was for the kingdom of earth – and not the whole earth, either, but only the land of Israel, which was made of men and stones, not of prayer and clouds.” (Chapter 14, page 196.)

Question: What do you think Kazantzakis’ Judas’ concern for humanity rather than his spiritual security says about his character? Is it reflective of the Judas in the Bible or is Kazantzakis trying to foreshadow something about the character that the Bible did not?

Answer: Judas is universally known as the one who betrayed Jesus; it does not matter what story or version of the Bible one looks at. It is like Milton’s Paradise Lost: Milton could not change the fact that Adam and Eve who sinned so he wrote an entire story around that. However, Judas’ concern for his own mortal safety says about his character that he is not fully invested in his faith. “Heaven and earth are one, Judas, my brother,” Jesus would say, “...the kingdom of heaven is not in the air, it is within us, in our hearts. I talk about that, about the heart.” It did not matter what Jesus said to Judas because he refused to believe him, saying that Jesus “lives in a dream world and hasn’t the slightest idea of what goes on around him.” With this kind of context to Judas’ character, we can more understand why it was so easy for Judas to betray Jesus in the end which is what is believed to be foreshadowed.

Posted by: rebecca maldonado at January 26, 2015 08:41 AM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Comparative Global Literature – CA01
26 January 2015

Question for Chapter 15:
What did Jesus mean when he compared Heaven to a wedding? What purpose did this analogy, and the following parable, serve and what brought it about in the first place?

Answer:
In this chapter, Jesus is invited to a wedding for Nathanael’s nephew and decides that all of his friends should go, including Mary Magdalene. Upon arriving at the wedding, Mary is met with distrust and judging eyes because she was once a prostitute and considered a “slut” in the company of virgins (Kazantzakis 215). According to the laws at the time, only virgins could be allowed entrance to a wedding and those who have has premarital sex would taint the wedding. As Jesus explains, weddings are like heaven in that everyone wants to be let in to enjoy it in all of its splendor rather than be barred from it and left out in the cold. In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, Jesus explains that it is not right to keep people out from a wedding just because they made a few mistakes. In the story, the foolish virgins forgot to bring enough oil for their lamps and were thus forced to get more and arrive late to the wedding. By the time they did come again, the wise virgins were already inside and refused to let in the foolish ones. This instant is like the elitist idea of heaven where only the best of the best people can get in, instead of everybody regardless of their transgressions or mistakes. The bridegroom in this parable is meant to be a mirror of God as he graciously welcomes in the foolish virgins and offers excellent hospitality towards them but having their feet washed. At this point, the village chief tells Jesus that he is going against the laws, to which Jesus replies that the laws go “contrary to [his] heart (Kazantzakis 217).

Posted by: Craig Graves at January 26, 2015 09:00 AM

Ashtan Richey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
26 January 2015

Chapter 16 (1st half)
"In front of him... was holy Jerusalem, beautiful, white, and proud." (Chapter 15, Page 227, Nikos Kazantzakis)
"Holding his breath, Jesus strode hurriedly, angrily, through the streets...." (Chapter 16, Page 230, Nikos Kazantzakis)

Question:
When Jesus and his followers reached the holy city of Jerusalem why was Jesus hurrying through the city?

Answer:
When Jesus and his followers reached Jerusalem they encountered the city in the process of celebrating "the great autumn festival." The autumn festival was described as purposed to celebrate the remembrance of forefathers suffering. As the author describes how the people are celebrating he includes drinking, the presence and use of the "celebrated whores of Jerusalem," and also people who "coupled shamelessly in broad daylight... (Kazantzakis 230)." Jesus walked hurriedly through the streets in order to reach the temple while his followers struggled with temptation. When the group reached the temple Jesus was disgusted by the "'stench of the fatted calves you slaughter for me. Take me away from the tumult of your psalms and your lutes' (Kazantzakis 233)." This statement from Jesus helps the reader to understand that he rejects the festival and the condition of the temple as means of worship. Jesus further proves his point that "'we worship within ourselves' (Kazantzakis 233)."

Posted by: Ashtan Richey at January 27, 2015 07:35 PM

Deirdre Rowan
Dr. Hobbs
English 410 Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
27 January 2015

"Today the rabbi had let the Scriptures fall open according to chance, and it fell upon the following sacred text: 'Behold, upon the mountain are heard the feet of him who brings good tidings!' The old rabbi read these words, re-read them, worked up steam." (Chapter 21, page 313, P. A. Bein translation)

Question: Why is it important for Kazantzakis to point out that the rabbi picked the Scripture at random?

Answer: By showing the rabbi improvising the Sabbath reading and lecture on the spot, Kazantzakis displays how the religious leaders were just as neglectful with keeping the spirit of the Sabbath as "[t]he people[, who then] went out and dispersed under the tall date-palms. The rabbi's words were extremely disorganized and his auditors struggled to forget them completely so that the roaring flames would subside and their souls could once more dispose themselves around cares still at hand" (Kazantzakis 314). If the rabbi does not care enough to prepare a sermon for the Sabbath beforehand, why should the people bother to take his words to heart and follow through with his teachings outside the synagogue?

Posted by: Deirdre Rowan at January 27, 2015 09:29 PM

Shaina McSweeney
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
27 January 2015

“He tripped, began to fall forward. Peter rushed out in time to hold him up. Taking the cross from him, he lifted it to his own shoulder. ‘Let me help you,’ he said. ‘You’re tired.’” (Chapter 4, page 44)

Question: In the passage above, Peter is the only person to help Jesus carry the cross. Why does Peter help Jesus carry the cross? How does this foreshadow their future relationship?
Answer: While Peter watches Jesus struggle with the cross, he does not lay the blame of the cross maker on Jesus himself; instead, he realizes that it is God who has chosen Jesus to bear this trouble. With this in mind, Peter begins to think, “he might have picked me to do the same, but he chose the son of Mary instead and I escaped” (Kazantzakis 44). He begins to feel grateful towards Jesus for taking on this challenge, and helps him. This foreshadows a future close relationship between the two. The line “he felt deeply grateful to the son of Mary, who had taken the sin and lifted it to his shoulders” foreshadows Jesus future crucifixion, where Jesus will once again take Peter’s sins away, as well as the rest of the worlds (Kazantzakis 44).

Posted by: Shaina McSweeney at January 27, 2015 10:10 PM

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
28 January 2015

“’Isn’t love enough?’ he asked.
“No,” answered the Baptist angrily. “The tree is rotten. Gold called to me and gave me the ax, which I then placed at the roots of the tree. I did my duty. Now do yours: take the ax and strike!’” (Chapter 17, page 235, par. 1, P. A. Bien translation)
Question: Why is John the Baptist so adamant that Christ fulfill a destiny that he, the Baptist, cannot be sure is true? Furthermore, why does John the Baptist push Christ into something that he, Christ, may not feel the need to do?
Answer: In chapter 17, John the Baptist seems to be asking a lot of the Messianic figure of Christ, although Christ does not feel the same passion as John does. John acts in the way that he does toward Christ because he feels it is not only in his, John’s, best interest, but also in the best interest of the human race for Christ to fulfill what God has told him to do. When John relays the message that was previously quoted, Christ replies: “If I were a fire, I would burn; if I were a woodcutter, I would strike. But I am a heart, and I love.” (Kazantzakis 235). Christ’s response shows the almost indifferent nature that he holds toward the almost violent way in which he is expected to command his people. Throughout the novel, Christ shows that he is not necessarily on board with all that is expected of him and dreams of a life where he is not required to sacrifice himself for the better of the people. John the Baptist becomes a figure that pushes Christ toward his “destiny” because John is part of the group that would be bettered by Christ’s sacrifice. Therefore, it seems that John is acting in an almost selfish nature when he is demanding of Christ.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at January 27, 2015 10:47 PM

Emily Finck
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
28 January 2015


“‘He who holds the ax and opens the way for the Messiah speaks in that way, but the Messiah dose not.’” (The Last Temptation of Christ, Ch. 16, page 237, Nikos Kazantzakis).


Question:
How does the description of the Baptist show/represent elements of Jonathan Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God?”


Answer:
The Baptist described in chapter sixteen of The Last Temptation of Christ is described as being a “savage, untamed beast, who has flames flying from his nostrils” (Kazantzakis 231). Of course, the imagery of flaming nostrils is a metaphor for the type of speeches and sermons the Baptist gives to his followers. They are full of passion, heat, and forced power. Much like the “Fire and Brimstone” sermons that Jonathan Edwards gave to those who chose a different path of religion during the creation of the colonies. Both men are described in very similar ways and thus mirror one another, as they insight fear and force rather than love and understanding.

Posted by: Emily Finck at January 27, 2015 11:20 PM

Hannah McCafferty
Dr. Hobbes
ENG 410 Reading the Planet
27 January 2015

Question: In chapter 14, how and why does Zebedee’s reaction to losing his sons differ from Salome’s reaction?

Answer: When Zebedee discovered that his other son, Jacob, has also joined Jesus, he became taken aback. Zebedee is a selfish man: he is primarily concerned with the physical world and not the spiritual world. He is unconcerned with Jesus’ mission and wants to focus purely on worldly issues for instance, putting his neighbor’s property for sale so he would have room for a wine press. Once Jacob’s new path becomes revealed, Zebedee remained in awe with a repeating thought echoing in his head, “Jacob too? But he had some sense in his head. It is impossible” (Kazantzakis 211). Zebedee thought his son, Jacob, was too smart to fall into Jesus’ pathway. In contrast, Salome shows pride in her children for their choices to follow Jesus. Earlier in the novel, Salome displays several signs of faith in Jesus as a messiah. She is a fierce and religious woman with an intense set of morals. For instance, earlier in the novel she helps save Magdalene’s life. Salome’s love for her sons transcends Zebedee’s shallow love for them. While she watched her children pass by, she quietly murmured, “My blessing upon you all” (Kazantzakis 211). Her selflessness contrasts her husband’s greediness immensely.

Posted by: Hannah McCafferty at January 28, 2015 02:09 AM

Kristen Collins
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
28 January 2015

“It was pouring. The male waters of heaven spouted down and united with the rivers and lake, the female waters of earth. Land, sky and rain became one; they were pursuing him, directing him towards mankind.” (Chapter 18: _The Last Temptation of Christ_, pg. 265, par. 2)

Question: What is the significance of the rain, especially after the tests and trials Jesus went through in the desert while confronting God and Satan? And how does it change the reading, being the opening of the chapter?

Answer: In the two chapters previous, Jesus set out to John the Baptist to get baptized and go through the rites of sin purification. Water in itself signifies purity and the washing away of sins in a biblical sense. With the rain coming down right after Jesus’s trial with Satan and the temptations shown to him in the desert, it symbolizes Jesus’s victory over the trials and repeated purification of himself after meeting the Devil. The story of Noah is also brought up because it was a part of the Bible where God placed his judgment on mankind when they became too corrupt and the flood laid waste to the sinful. In a sense, both fire and water hold the same sort of meaning when it comes to rebirth and purification. Fire completely annihilates and is used as punishment (Hell), but it also allows for a barren land to sprout new seeds as John the Baptist explained. Water purifies and washes clean, but on larger scales can be a punishment (The Flood). Either way, the chapter opens with the torrential downpour to be a contrast to the fiery and unforgiving trial of the desert as well as give a baptism to Jesus from God, having one from man and God symbolizing the two parts that Jesus embodies.

Posted by: Kristen Collins at January 28, 2015 06:02 AM

Lorie Jewell
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature CA01
28 January 2015

“But if our master is the . . .” he stammered.
“Is what?”
John’s voice was soft, gasping, full of terror: “. . . the Messiah!” (Chapter 19: Last Temptation of Christ, page 286, par. 3)

Question: How does Kazantzakis incorporate foreshadowing into the reactions of Jesus’ disciples when it dawns on them that he is the Messiah?

Answer: They each have such strong reactions, it seems like a given that the opposite is likely to happen. Everyone but Judas swears they will never leave Jesus (even though they just did when they did not wait for him at the river as he asked them to); Judas screams at them that ‘One day every single one of you will forsake him – mark my words – while I alone shall not betray him’ (Kazantzakis 286). They have already been portrayed as fallible humans, so promising never to leave Jesus comes across as wishful thinking. It is like a child getting a new toy and swearing he will never break it – it is just bound to happen.

Posted by: Lorie Jewell at January 28, 2015 07:15 AM

Rebecca Maldonado
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
28 January 2015

“He did not die. The only ones who die are those who are too late to become immortal. He was not too late. God granted him time.” (page 296).

Question: In this passage, Jesus explains how time is key, perhaps even implying that we all have a litmited amount of time to do God’s work on earth. What do you think God is trying to say with this statement?

Answer: Jesus said, in the above quote, that God gave the time for the Baptist to be saved. Could it be implied that we have a limited amount of time to do God’s work on earth. Well, perhaps not. “Time ripened all. If you had time, you succeeded in working the human mud internally and turning it into spirit. Then you did not fear death,” (Kazantzakis 296). Perhaps he is not saying that we have a limited amount of time, but that we need time for ourselves to work out our human faults so that our spirits may be even more pure and suitable for heaven.

Posted by: rebecca maldonado at January 28, 2015 08:22 AM

Shawn DeJesus
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410CL Reading The Planet CA01
28 January 2015

“Feeling in good spirits, he took the lead. He liked festivities. He loved the people’s glowing faces; he loved to see the young marry and keep the fires burning in the hearth. Plants, beetles, birds, animals, men—all were sacred, he reflected as he proceeded to the wedding; all are God’s creatures. Why do they live? They live to glorify God. May they continue to live, therefore, forever and ever!” (Chapter 15, page 214, P.A. Bein Translation)

Question: At this point in the novel, Jesus has begun to establish himself as a messianic figure. What might have been the reason for Kazantzakis’s inclusion of this self-reflection, and what does it say about Jesus’ character?

Answer: Jesus’ reputation as a messiah and healer has preceded him, “his gifts and powers had been proclaimed from village to village by the epileptics, the blind and the paralyzed whom he had cured…” Jesus is obviously well aware of his growing reputation, and this self-reflection is an example of his humility, and illuminates his compassion and love for life. This passage also portrays the ubiquity of his love: nothing is exempt from the glory and love of God, “all are sacred.” Kazantzakis wants to make clear that even though people have begun to worship Jesus, this increasing notoriety does not corrupt Jesus’ faith, compassion, and appreciation of life.

Posted by: Shawn DeJesus at January 28, 2015 08:30 AM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature CA01
28 January 2015

“Time, within him, had become as small as a heartbeat, as large as death. He was no longer hungry or thirsty; he no longer desired children and a wife. His whole soul squeezed into his eyes. He saw – that was all: he saw. (Kazantzakis 259)”

Chapter 17 Question:
What is the importance of Jesus’s interaction with the snake in the desert? Who won this interaction, why did that individual win, and how?

Answer:
Jesus’s interaction with the snake in the desert is meant to become his communication with Satan and the temptations associated with Satan. In other words, Satan is trying to tempt Jesus’s human side, to guide it into failing and thus ruin the Son of God. During this encounter, Satan abuses Jesus and Jesus seemingly takes the abuse, exercising his will power and proving he has divinity inside of him. Jesus came out on top of this encounter by reaching a state of enlightenment. He felt the infancy and vastness of time and the worldliness of human desires for food, water, and family. “His whole soul squeezed into his eyes… he saw (Kazantzakis 259).” His enlightenment was tough, however. The things he saw faded and grew bright with the passing of days and he had visions of gaping maws and various visiting animals. Despite this, Jesus survived his trial in the desert, becoming an even better person.

Posted by: Craig Graves at January 28, 2015 09:16 AM

Jahiedy Vinas
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
28 January 2015


‘”No, Judas, my brother,’ Jesus answered; ‘he who holds the ax and opens the way for the Messiah speaks in that way, but the Messiah does not.’ He bent down, broke off a sharp green leaf and passed it between his teeth.
‘He who opens the way is the Messiah,’ the redbeard growled.”
(Second half Chapter 15 “The Last Temptation of Christ” page 237 Greek Translation by P.A. Bien)

Question: What understanding does Jesus have of the role of Prophets, such as the Baptist, which Judas does not? If Jesus is the seed and the Messiah, what is the need of Prophets?

Answer: The role of prophets, such as the Baptist’s, are important in preparing the way for the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus. It is an opportunity for the people to prepare themselves to be worthy of the Kingdom of God that the prophets preach until the arrival of the Messiah. “Repent! Repent!” is what the Baptist yells as those around him confess their sins and go to be baptized. It is like preparing the hardened ground to be fertile and capable of harvesting the seed, which is the Messiah. Elijah said it perfectly “I am the ox who draws the plow. The Messiah is the seed” (234).

Posted by: Jahiedy Vinas at January 28, 2015 09:51 AM

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
30 January 2015

“A weak soul does not have the endurance to resist the flesh for very long.” (Prologue, Page 1, par. 5, P. A. Bien trans.)
Question: If a weak soul cannot resist the flesh, according to Kazantzakis, and Christ succumbs to the flesh in his dreams, is the author inferring that Christ could have had a weak soul?
Answer: Throughout his novel, Kazantzakis explores the idea of Christ succumbing to the fleshly desires in his dreams as he awaits his crucifixion, and ultimate sacrifice for humanity. Although the author points out that only a weak soul succumbs to the desires of the flesh, he also states “My principal anguish and the source of all my joys and sorrows from my youth onward has been the incessant, merciless battle between the spirit and the flesh,” (Kazantzakis 1). With this, the author is not stating that Christ had a weak soul, but he is pointing out that Christ, like all humans, had the possibility of succumbing to the desires of his flesh. This notion helps to set up Christ as a messianic figure because, despite some of his earthly desires, Christ is able to overcome them all and achieve his fate of sacrificing himself for humanity. Although Kazantzakis spends the majority of his novel exploring Christ’s dreams of a normal, human life, it ultimately ends with Christ still accepting his fate and ultimately showing why he deserves the role that he has been given in the history of Christianity.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at January 29, 2015 06:56 PM

Emily Finck
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Litterateurs in Translation CA01
30 January 2015


“‘Wide is the gate of hell, wide the road, and strewn with flowers. But the gate to God’s kingdom is narrow, the way uphill. While we live we may choose, for life means freedom. But when death comes, what’s done is done and there is no deliverance’” (The Last Temptation of Christ, Ch. 22, page 331-332, Nikos Kazantzakis).


Question:
How is this statement, made by Jesus, relevant to his whole journey as the savior of all men and why is his message so ill received by those who do not follow him?


Answer:
Jesus, as the Savior of men, is expected to suddenly right all the wrongs in the world. However, by making, the statement presented above the reader and fellow man are supposed to reflect upon themselves. One man can do all he can as the savoir to insight love, forgiveness, acceptance, and so on, but it is ultimately up to man to do right by the tools they are given. Jesus states that man needs to “open his heart” to all and “divide and share his goods with the poor” in order to fully recognize the path to salvation (Kazantzakis 331). Man needs to repair the rift it tore through society, not God. Man has gotten used to taking the easy way around things greed, gluttony, sloth, and so forth that they have forgotten that they need to help each other and work for salvation. The crowd wants Jesus to do all the work and become enraged when they find out they will not be saved just by word alone but by action as well.

Posted by: Emily Finck at January 29, 2015 10:26 PM

Ashtan Richey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
28 January 2015

Chapter 22 (1st half)
"Little by little the girl's cheeks began to redden, her chest swelled..." (Chapter 22: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 323)

Question:
What significance does this specific "healing" hold in regards to Jesus's journey?

Answer:
This healing is important because it is the first time in the novel that Jesus has been described in so much detail healing someone. Also, this healing is significant because it comes right after people are beginning to "find out" Jesus. This healing can be compared to the author saying, "here is a little show of the God in Jesus." "'Rise, my daughter!' he gently commanded (Kazantzakis 323.)"

Posted by: Ashtan Richey at January 29, 2015 11:09 PM

Shaina McSweeney
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
29 January 2015

“And a long-nosed blackbird came and clung to the shoulder of the first-created man, bent over to his ear and spoke to him softly, as though entrusting a great secret to him: “The doors of heaven and hell are adjacent, and identical, both green, both beautiful. Take care, Adam! Take Care!” (Chapter 18, page 280, P.A. Bein Translation)

Question: What do you think the blackbird’s advice to Jesus means? Why do you think he is giving him this advice?

Answer: The blackbird is giving a warning on how easily a person can be fooled into choosing the wrong “door”. Furthermore, in this passage, Jesus is compared in likeness to the first man ever created, Adam. While Eve was the one fooled by the Satan, Adam was tempted by Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. The blackbird is giving Adam advice about the power of temptation, and to “take care” by making the right choice.

Posted by: Shaina McSweeney at January 29, 2015 11:35 PM

Hannah McCafferty
Dr. Hobbes
ENG 410 Reading the Planet
29 January 2015

Question: In the Prologue, what is Kazantzakis’ reasoning behind his depiction of Jesus? Why is this vital knowledge while reading this work?
Answer: Kazantzakis’ subtly acknowledges that his depiction of Jesus is not the traditional one, but he does believe that it is the right one. Kazantzakis wants the readers to understand that Jesus was an ordinary man he was not perfect and in Christians pretentious attempts to claim that Jesus was, they are disregarding everything that made Jesus important. Jesus’ journey was ordinary, and that is what makes him a good role model. Kazantzakis writes, “Christ passed through all the stages that the man who struggles passes through. That is why his suffering is familiar to us; that is why we share it, and why his final victory seems to us so much our own future victory” (Kazantzakis 2).Jesus is not supposed to be some unattainable saint; he is expected to ignite hope in the face of men. If the audience does not remember this while reading Kazantzakis’ novel, then they may begin to feel offended by his interpretation of Jesus. However, he is not seeking to offend Christians; rather he wants individuals to understand how wonderfully ordinary Jesus was because that is what makes his journey so beautiful and inspiring.

Posted by: Hannah McCafferty at January 29, 2015 11:59 PM

Hannah McCafferty
Dr. Hobbes
ENG 410 Reading the Planet
29 January 2015

Question: In the Prologue, what is Kazantzakis’ reasoning behind his depiction of Jesus? Why is this vital knowledge while reading this work?
Answer: Kazantzakis’ subtly acknowledges that his depiction of Jesus is not the traditional one, but he does believe that it is the right one. Kazantzakis wants the readers to understand that Jesus was an ordinary man he was not perfect and in Christians pretentious attempts to claim that Jesus was, they are disregarding everything that made Jesus important. Jesus’ journey was ordinary, and that is what makes him a good role model. Kazantzakis writes, “Christ passed through all the stages that the man who struggles passes through. That is why his suffering is familiar to us; that is why we share it, and why his final victory seems to us so much our own future victory” (Kazantzakis 2).Jesus is not supposed to be some unattainable saint; he is expected to ignite hope in the face of men. If the audience does not remember this while reading Kazantzakis’ novel, then they may begin to feel offended by his interpretation of Jesus. However, he is not seeking to offend Christians; rather he wants individuals to understand how wonderfully ordinary Jesus was because that is what makes his journey so beautiful and inspiring.

Posted by: Hannah McCafferty at January 29, 2015 11:59 PM

Deirdre Rowan
Dr. Hobbs
English 410 Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
30 January 2015

"At that point the disciples went wild and certainly would have come to blows if they had not already neared Bethany. But they felt ashamed in front of the villagers and swallowed their anger. Their faces, however, were were still completely dark." (Chapter 25, page 387, P. A. Bein translation)

Question: What is the significance of seeing Jesus's disciples bickering?

Answer: Kazantzakis wants to convey that even though the twelve men believed they were following the Messiah, there were times that they let their selfish ambitions blind them from seeing Jesus' mission. Having Peter state: "And does it seem a mere trifle to you? I-listen, all of you-I hold the keys; it's I who open and close the gates of Paradise. If I want, I let you in; If I don't, I don't!"(Kazantzakis 387) makes him sound like a whiny little kid. Jesus' disciples did not understand what Jesus really wanted from them: surrendering of the self for the good of others.

Posted by: Deirdre Rowan at January 30, 2015 02:48 AM

Kristen Collins
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
30 January 2015

“Wasn’t it he who one day said, ‘God loves the sinner who repents more than he who never sinned’? And another day, hadn’t he said, ‘I came to the world not for the righteous but for the sinners: it is with them I like to speak and eat’?” (Chapter 21: _The Last Temptation of Christ_, pg. 315, par. 3)

Question: What is the significance of the ark and the sea of fire that Jesus forewarns? How does his parable of the king’s son’s birthday coincide with his disciples, particularly Matthew the tax collector?

Answer: Jesus explained how John the Baptist baptized and saved through the use of water, and with his death and the passing of the axe, Jesus will carry on and save through the use of fire. With the flood allusion and fire instead of water, there is a reference to the Book of Revelations where heaven will open up with fire spewing from the gates. While it may not be talking about his own salvation and journey, Jesus alludes to this to show how his death will allow those unsaved to be saved from the final judgment day and Hell. As for the parable and the quote, God’s invited deny the invitation because they feel as if others have sinned more than they have and feel a sense of privilege over those such as Matthew. Jesus, on the other hand, sees how those who are trying to repent and be forgiven for their sins are more worthy to be a disciple. Matthew tosses away the sinful Earthly law of tax collecting and instead follows Jesus. Those who know they have sinned and with to redeem themselves, such as Matthew, are better than those who act as if they do not sin and believe themselves as continuously blessed by God, such as Zebedee. The rejection of God’s/Jesus’s invite to the ark allows others who will be more appreciative to have the honor.

Posted by: Kristen Collins at January 30, 2015 06:23 AM

Ashley Gross
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
30 January 2015

“A corpse has been resurrected; I saw it with my own eyes” (Kazantzakis 368).

Question - Chapter 25:
Who was resurrected? How was everyone claiming that he had been resurrected?

Answer:
The corpse said to be resurrected was that of Lazarus, son of Eliakim, who had died a few days before. “We buried him. One day went by, two, three-we forgot him” (Kazantzakis 369). Many were saying that it was Jesus who brought him back after Lazarus’ sisters pled with Jesus to bring him back. “Lazarus, he cried, come out! And all at once we hear the earth in the tomb stir and crack. The tombstone begins to move; someone is gradually pushing it up” (Kazantzakis 369).

Posted by: Ashley Gross at January 30, 2015 08:07 AM

Lorie Jewell
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature CA01
30 January 2015

“But Jesus was glad. ‘Judas is right,’ he said. ‘Friends, I follow the ax myself.’” (Chapter 20: Last Temptation of Christ, page 301, par.1)

Question: Explain what the ‘ax’ symbolizes and why it is significant.

Answer: The ax represents the fight to the death – or just death itself – Jesus and his followers are heading into as he attempts to bring as many souls to God as possible before he is crucified. This scene is important because it dramatically illustrates the change in Jesus since his return from the desert. He is much less the ‘let’s just love all our brothers’ teacher and more the warrior leader, which thrills Judas but is unsettling for the rest of the disciples. “This voice was severe. It no longer frolicked and laughed; it was calling them to arms” (Kazantazakis 300).

Posted by: Lorie Jewell at January 30, 2015 08:14 AM

Shawn DeJesus
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410CL Reading the Planet CA01
30 January 2015

“The disciples laughed in their beards. They knew perfectly well that Peter was in a merry mood and joking; but inside themselves—though they still were not drunk enough to speak out—they secretly spun the same thoughts. Impressiveness, rank, clothes of silk, golden rings abundant food—and to feel the world under the Jewish heel: that was the kingdom of heaven.” (Chapter 23, page 338, P.A. Bein Translation)

Question: How are Jesus’ apostles portrayed in The Last Temptation of Christ? What does the above passage suggest about their faith and fellowship?

Answer: Traditionally, Jesus’ apostles are considered to be paragons of virtue, faith and piety. While this is certainly true, Kazantzakis does not want to deviate from that fact that ultimately they are human beings. The powerful allure of potential wealth, power, and status is a constant thought in their minds, as suggested from the passage above. Peter has to convince Nathaniel of Jesus’ authenticity with “golden sandals” and the promise of “angels stooping to tie” his laces, which suggests that material and social gain are vital factors in the apostles faith and continued fellowship in Jesus, as well as their tools of recruitment for future followers.

Posted by: Shawn DeJesus at January 30, 2015 08:36 AM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures CA01
30 January 2015

Question for Chapter 26:
In this chapter, Jesus proclaims that he will “wage war (Kazantzakis 383)” and that he will rule in heaven over the New Jerusalem that is to be built. Evaluate Jesus’s emotions during this scene based on the tones of voice he uses and his word choice.

Answer:
Throughout the past few chapters, Jesus has either been revered or thought of as crazy for his teachings. He’s been ignored, considered a fool, and has been treated like trash by countless people. It can be said that all of that would build up negativity inside of him that would manifest as anger or resentment towards others. Jesus in the previous chapters never seemed to lose his cool as it were or get seriously angry with anyone. Certainly, he has shown disappointment and sadness, but never full-blown anger. When the centurion tells Jesus that his (the centurion’s) daughter wanted to kiss Jesus’s feet while he spoke and was forbidden, Jesus quips that that one moment could have saved her (Kazantzakis 379). In that instant, Jesus was disappointed. Then, while talking with Pilate, Jesus is heavily questioned and goaded into showing some anger. It is uncharacteristic of Jesus to yell or raise his voice in anger, and it is almost certain that his interview with Pilate brought about his anger. At first, Jesus’s anger is simmering when he is explaining the Prophet David’s dream of the crumbling statue. Though once Jesus starts talking about “waging war” on Rome to build his New Jerusalem, he is yelling and fully showing his anger (Kazantzakis 383).

Posted by: Craig Graves at January 30, 2015 09:09 AM

Ashtan Richey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
28 January 2015

Chapter 22 (1st half)
"Little by little the girl's cheeks began to redden, her chest swelled..." (Chapter 22: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 323)

Question:
What significance does this specific "healing" hold in regards to Jesus's journey?

Answer:
This healing is important because it is the first time in the novel that Jesus has been described in so much detail healing someone. Also, this healing is significant because it comes right after people are beginning to "find out" Jesus. This healing can be compared to the author saying, "here is a little show of the God in Jesus." "'Rise, my daughter!' he gently commanded (Kazantzakis 323.)"

Posted by: Ashtan Richey at January 30, 2015 09:21 AM


Jahiedy Vinas
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
30 January 2015

‘”What’s this mess you’re in, apostles!’ he shouted. ‘Poor devils, the must have beaten you silly!’” (Second half Chapter 24: “The Last Temptation of Christ” Greek Translation by P.A. Bien)

Question: Peter, Phillip and Jacob come back deceived, broken and bruised from preaching. What dichotomy are Peter, Phillip and Jacob under the impression of who the Messiah is and what does Jesus’ reply reveal of the reality of preaching the Word of God mean?

Answer: Peter, Phillip and Jacob still do not fully understand who the Messiah is, especially under the idea that the Messiah is one who will politically free them with earthly treasures and power versus a Messiah whose message could get them killed and “say goodbye to bread, joy and security” (361). Jesus says “I send you as lambs among wolves,” which reveals that preaching the word of God requires humility and the willingness to die for the truth.

Posted by: Jahiedy Vinas at January 30, 2015 09:53 AM

Marcus Chisholm
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-410-CA01
2 February 2015
Chapter 8
What was the Abbot’s reasoning for wanting to die? Why was his life spared after he was pronounced dead by the Habakkuk?
The Abbot was angry with God. The Abbot began to starve himself to death, in order to bring Israel’s grievances before God. He felt that he was betrayed by God because, God broke his promise and did not send the Son of Man. The Abbot wanted his body and soul to break apart so that, his soul ascend into heaven and he could personally confront God about his broken promise. However, since he was still alive, the only way he could do so was to kill himself. However, suicide is a Sin; therefore, if he was to kill himself, why would his soul ascend into heaven? God saw this and spared his life, because even though he was killing himself in hopes to directly speak to God, he was going about it in the wrong way. The Abbot did not realize that God is everywhere and is always in contact with us. Suicide should never be an option in one’s life. Especially, if the reasoning behind it is to get in contact with God.

Posted by: Marcus Chisholm at February 2, 2015 08:01 AM

Marcus Chisholm
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-410-CA01
2 February 2015
Chapter 19
Explain the Noah’s Ark connection to John’s heart.
While Simon, Peter and Jacob believe that Jesus is not coming, John on the otherhand maintains his faith and states that he hears that Jesus is near, in his heart. Jacob, states that John is right and compares his heart to Noah’s Ark. In Noah’s Ark, God saves Noah, his family and all of the world’s animals from a flood. While Noah was building the Ark, those around him looked down on him and figured he was crazy. However, the flood does come and Noah boards the Ark with his family and two of each animal as God requested. The Ark stays afloat, while the floods un-create and re-create the lands. Therefore, John’s heart can be compared to the Ark because, even though Noah was looked down upon and doubted as he built the Ark, he still maintained his faith and was saved in the end. Even though Simon, Peter and Jacob doubt that Jesus is coming, John still keeps the faith and will be saved in the end.

Posted by: Marcus Chisholm at February 2, 2015 08:02 AM

Marcus Chisholm
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-410-CA01
2 February 2015
Chapter 8
““The novice felt uneasy and stopped. He no longer heard the Abbot sigh or drive his nails with agitation into the stall; no longer even heard him breathe. Could he have died? For days and days now he had refused to put food into his mouth. He was angry with God and wanted to die. He wanted to die—that he made absolutely clear to the brothers—so that his soul might be unburdened of the body, might be relieved of this weight and enabled to ascend to heaven in order to find God” (Chapter 2: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 185, par. 2)

What was the Abbot’s reasoning for wanting to die? Why was his life spared after he was pronounced dead by the Habakkuk?
The Abbot was angry with God. The Abbot began to starve himself to death, in order to bring Israel’s grievances before God. He felt that he was betrayed by God because, God broke his promise and did not send the Son of Man. The Abbot wanted his body and soul to break apart so that, his soul ascend into heaven and he could personally confront God about his broken promise. However, since he was still alive, the only way he could do so was to kill himself. However, suicide is a Sin; therefore, if he was to kill himself, why would his soul ascend into heaven? God saw this and spared his life, because even though he was killing himself in hopes to directly speak to God, he was going about it in the wrong way. The Abbot did not realize that God is everywhere and is always in contact with us. Suicide should never be an option

Posted by: Marcus Chisholm at February 2, 2015 08:48 AM

Chapter 19
“Jacob and Peter shrugged their shoulders, but the innkeeper snapped, “Don’t scoff. The boy is right. I’ve heard say that— Wait, the thing they call Noah’s ark, what do you think it is? Man’s heart, of course! Inside sits God with all his creatures. Everything drowns and goes to “the bottom while it alone sails over the waters with its cargo. This heart of man knows everything—yes! don’t laugh—everything! (Chapter 19: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 577, para. 5).
Explain the Noah’s Ark connection to John’s heart.
While Simon, Peter and Jacob believe that Jesus is not coming, John on the otherhand maintains his faith and states that he hears that Jesus is near, in his heart. Jacob, states that John is right and compares his heart to Noah’s Ark. In Noah’s Ark, God saves Noah, his family and all of the world’s animals from a flood. While Noah was building the Ark, those around him looked down on him and figured he was crazy. However, the flood does come and Noah boards the Ark with his family and two of each animal as God requested. The Ark stays afloat, while the floods un-create and re-create the lands. Therefore, John’s heart can be compared to the Ark because, even though Noah was looked down upon and doubted as he built the Ark, he still maintained his faith and was saved in the end. Even though Simon, Peter and Jacob doubt that Jesus is coming, John still keeps the faith and will be saved in the end.

Posted by: Marcus Chisholm at February 2, 2015 08:48 AM

Dalton Hart & Kristen Collins
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet CA01
4 February 2015

Question: What is the main conflict when Jesus begins giving his Sermon on the Mount? After identifying the main conflict, recast the conflict as a dichotomy. Make a case that supports which side of each dichotomy seems to be cast as the preferred half, and by whom, and why.
Answer: In Kazantzakis’ novel, Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount takes place within the thirteenth chapter and displays many conflicts. Although there is a conflict between Jesus and himself, and Jesus and his mother, the main conflict comes on the form of Jesus versus the onlookers or observers of his sermon. When the onlookers arrive at Jesus’s sermon they expect to hear of the upcoming rebellion and of how the poor should be the ones in power, but this is not the case. Instead, Jesus preaches of loving one another. This main conflict provides the dichotomy of peace versus rebellion. Jesus preaches of peace while the onlookers of the Sermon expect to be instructed to rebel from the rich and powerful. Kazantzakis writes, “The infuriated ragamuffins, meanwhile, had encircled Jesus. They uttered threats, beat their staffs on the ground, waved their empty baskets in the air,” showing the anger within the onlookers as they do not hear what they expect to (185). The preferred half of the dichotomy appears to rebellion when looking at the desires of the onlookers, but when examining Jesus’s desires the preferred half becomes peace. Therefore, the dichotomy presented within the Sermon becomes difficult to gauge because each participant in the conflict wants something different. When examining the language associated with each side, it becomes clear that Kazantzakis favored the peaceful side. The onlookers are associated with violence and violence is generally viewed as negative, whereas Jesus’s words are associated with peaceful images and his words seem to be placed above those of the onlookers.

Posted by: Dalton Hart & Kristen Collins at February 2, 2015 03:31 PM

Shaina McSweeney, Dierdre Rowan, Hannah McCafferty
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
2 February 2015

Group 1: Jesus defends Mary Magdalene from stoning
•Major Conflict-The law vs what is moral
•Reformed into a dichotomy-Moral vs immoral
•Jesus is on the side of the moral
•The crowd/Barabbas/Zebedee is on the side of the immoral
•The crowd is more privileged
o They have privilege in number
o They have privilege with the law on
their side
•Moral includes forgiveness/looking into one self
o Jesus asks crowd to question their
own morality
o Are they completely innocent?
•Magdalene is not stoned=Moral wins

Posted by: Shaina McSweeney at February 2, 2015 06:10 PM

Marissa Elam

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 410 – Reading the Planet

4 February 2015


DISCUSSION QUESTION CHAPTER 29 FIRST PART


Pilate clenched his fist. He was overcome by an obstinate desire to save these imbecile, not because he was innocent (innocent: what did that mean?) nor because he pitied him (alas! if at this point he began to pity the Jews), but in order to enrage the disgraceful Hebrew race. (Chapter 29, page 436, par. 2, P.A. Bien translation)


Question: How is Pontius Pilate characterized? Do you think Kazantzakis wanted the reader to pity him, sympathize with him, or detest him?


Answer: Kazantzakis' portrayal of Pontius Pilate is complex, drawing attention to conflicts between the Romans and the Hebrews, as well as to the different legal and moral structures that each group subscribed to. Pilate is seemingly brutal, referring to the Hebrews as “disgraceful” and mocking Jesus, demanding for him to be scourged and presented to the people with a crown of thorns upon his head. However, he also extends pity to Jesus, referring to him as “the poor Nazarene” and dressing him “in this pitiful state, hoping they would feel sorry for him,” suggesting that his intentions were different than his execution of them. At the time time, Kazantzakis depicts Pilate’s worries in regards to the Jews, including his nervousness about the Passover and having to pass judgment on the Nazarene, allowing the reader to see all of the conflict Pilate was dealing with at the time.

Posted by: Marissa Elam at February 3, 2015 04:00 PM

Marissa Elam

Daniel Menezes

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 410 – Reading the Planet

4 February 2015


Chapter 27 – Jesus and the Moneychangers


“Jesus dismounted and hurriedly climbed the steps of the Temple, two by two. He reached Solomon’s Porch, stopped, and looked around him. Stalls had been set up. Thousands of people were selling, buying, bargaining, arguing, hawking their wares: merchants, money-changers, innkeepers, prostitutes. Jesus’ bile rose to his eyes; a sacred rage took possession of him. He lifted the ox-goad and swept down upon each of the wine stands, the refreshment stalls and workshops; overturned the tables, struck the tradesmen with his goad. “Away! Out of here! Out of here!” he shouted, brandishing the ox-goad and advancing. Within him was a quiet, bitter entreaty: “Lord, Lord, what you have decided must happen, let it happen – but quickly. I ask no other favor of you. Quickly – now while I still have strength.” (Chapter 27, page 408, par. 3, P.A. Bien translation)


In our group, DJ and I discussed the external conflict between Jesus and the people, particularly the greed and pride of the people. This is not the first time in the novel that Jesus confronts the people, since he does so when defending Mary Magdalene, directly intervening. In this situation, Jesus is challenging what has been established and accepted in Jerusalem. The people have become so accustomed to what they are doing, just as they were accustomed to stoning adulterers, that they are outraged when Jesus comes and says he is overturning the laws and establishing God’s new laws. This scene corresponds with the scene in the Bible, in Matthew, where Jesus cleanses the Temple. It is one of the few times, if not the only time, that Jesus uses physical force. He accuses them of turning God’s holy Temple into a “den of thieves,” since the Temple is essentially a representative of God and the people’s greed and pride is disrespectful and sinful, especially so near Passover.

Posted by: Marissa Elam at February 3, 2015 04:16 PM

Ashtan Richey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
2 February 2015

Chapter 28 (2nd half)
"He turned to the companions. 'It is I,' he said quietly. 'The prophet Isaiah is talking about me: I am the lamb that is being led to the slaughter, and I shall not open my mouth.'" (Chapter 28: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 426, par. 2)

Question:
What is the purpose of the timing of Jesus' reveal to his followers, excluding Judas, that he is going to die?

Answer:
Jesus began to realize for himself that he would be the sacrifice for all of man and their sins when he was alone in the desert and found the sacrificial lamb's remains. After leaving the desert though, he told himself that he is going to be like Noah and create an Ark for the fire God is sending. This makes Jesus seem to be in a half state of denial, which lasts until the day of Passover, even while he plans his demise with Judas. As Jesus reveals to his followers that he will be sacrificed that afternoon Judas says, "(I) had divined what was happening inside the master and how easily love could paralyze his strength (Kazantzakis 426)." Judas is referring to Jesus thinking of other options, besides dying. "For a moment even Jesus lost heart (Kazantzakis pg.426,") Jesus has, throughout the novel since the scene with the sacrificial goats remains, contemplated the alternative paths he could take to circumvent his death.

Posted by: Ashtan Richey at February 3, 2015 04:58 PM

Ashtan Richey, Rebecca Maldonado
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
3 February 2015

4.) Jesus fasts in the desert/tempted by Satan
Found in Chapter 17, Page 247-264

Major conflict
Faith vs. Temptation (Good vs. Evil) (God vs. Satan)
*Jesus' third day in the desert he calls out that he is lonely. As an answer, the devil appears as a serpent with the breasts and eyes of a serpent. "'I felt sorry for you, Son of Mary. You cried, 'I don't want to be alone. Help me!' I pitied you and came' (Kazantzakis pg. 255)." Jesus' god-side denies calling Satan, but his man-side is delighted and tempted by the things Satan is proposing. "The eremite, despite himself, inclined his head to hear her (Kazantzakis pg. 256)."
*Satan tells Jesus that his true duty is to save Magdalene. "'Not the Earth-forget about the Earth. It's her, Magdalene, you must save' (Kazantzakis pg. 256)!" Jesus listens to Satan describe the life he would have with Magdalene and then begins to daydream of the possibilities; "She extended her hand-she was seeking him; and her bosom was filled with children: his own (Kazantzakis pg. 257)." When the serpent asks Jesus for his decision God intervenes and tells Jesus "No! No! No! (Kazantzakis pg. 258)"

Secondary conflict
Man vs. Faith
* When Jesus finds the sacrificial goats remains he says "'men, poor weak creatures, have not the courage to pay for their sins themselves: they place them upon one who is sinless Kazantzakis pg. 248)." Jesus took this as a sign from God as to what may happen to him, but is then tempted to think that instead he will continue act as Noah did with the ark and save a select amount of people from the oncoming fire, and not have to become a sacrifice.

Posted by: Ashtan Richey at February 3, 2015 05:32 PM

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet - Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
4 February 2014

“The prophecies speak about me, [Christ] was thinking. I am the lamb who shall take upon himself the sins of the world and be slaughtered at this Passover. Well, then, let the lamb be slaughtered one hour sooner. The flesh is weak; I have no faith in it. At the last minute it may turn coward. Let death come now while I still feel my soul to be standing erect.” (Chapter 27: page 395, par. 1, P. A. Bien translation)
Question: Why does Christ feel the need to fulfill the prophecy that has been placed upon him? Furthermore, what does Christ mean when he says the flesh “may turn coward” and how does this affect his outlook on his sacrifice?
Answer: Christ exhibits the desire to fulfill the prophecy that has been relayed to him throughout the novel, but he also desires a life full of earthly desires. Though the battle between the desires within Christ last throughout the majority of the novel, Christ feels the pressure that has been placed on him by many people which partially fuels his need to complete the prophecy and offer himself up for sacrifice. Christ also understands that the earthly desires do not compare to what awaits him in Heaven, fueling his desire to offer himself up. When Christ dreams the night after deciding to go through with the sacrifice, he comes upon a great amount of wisdom: “They judged him, condemning him to death. But as they led him to be executed, he remembered that he could not die: he was a heavenly beast and immortal,” (Kazantzakis 396). Knowing that he is a “heavenly beast”, Christ is able to come to terms with the actions that are to follow. When referring to his flesh, Christ claims that it may turn coward, insinuating that, if he follows the desires of his flesh, he may end up not going through with the sacrifice. The flesh can succumb to pain and therefore may lead Christ to fear the pain thus dissuading him to go through with the prophecy and sacrifice himself for humanity.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at February 3, 2015 09:41 PM

Emily Finck
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
4 February 2015


“‘When the soul is willing, the body doesn’t mean a thing. All becomes the soul’” (Last Temptation of Christ, Ch. 29, page 439, Nikos Kazantzakis).


Question:
How does this quotation provided by Simon the Cyrenian apply to Jesus and how has does this quotation mirror his journey to crucifixion?


Answer:
The quotation above applies to Jesus and his journey by embodying his entire existence. Jesus was born in order to be the salvation of man, though unwilling at first he rejects God in both body and soul. He tried everything he could think to reject the holy spirit placed within him, for example, falling in love with his cousin Marry Magdalene. However hard Jesus tried he could not reject God’s calling and eventually embraced his duty to the people as their salvation. He accepted and embraced his calling as the Messiah and upon the day of his crucifixion he stated, “Blessed be Death, Glory be to God” (Kazantzakis 438). Thusly Jesus came to terms with his position and resigned both body and soul to doing what he was predestined to do, save man.

Posted by: Emily Finck at February 3, 2015 11:06 PM

Deirdre Rowan
Dr. Hobbs
English 410 Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
4 February 2015

"Days went by, months, years. In the house of Master Lazarus the sons and daughters multiplied, and Martha and Mary competed to see who would give birth to the most." (Chapter 32, page 478, P. A. Bein translation)

Question: Why did Jesus marry two women and how does that affect the relationship between these two women?

Answer: Jesus wanted to take for himself a wife, but he did not want to choose between the two sisters. He instead marries both so that way when he was finished with work each day, "his women would come and wash his feet and calves, light a fire, lay the table for him, and open wide their arms" (Kazantzakis 478). In other words, why pick just one when you could have both for twice the fun. Mary and Martha now see each other as rivals, each trying to conceive as many children as possible so she is not disregarded as lower than the other. If Jesus' love is lost, than the woman will be left defenseless against society without a man to support her (and her children).

Posted by: Deirdre Rowan at February 4, 2015 01:05 AM

Kristen Collins
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
4 February 2015

“After a deep silence Jesus opened his mouth. ‘Passover, my faithful fellow voyagers, means passage – passage from darkness to light, from slavery to freedom. But Passover that we celebrate tonight goes even further. Tonight’s Passover means passage from death to eternal life. I go in the lead, and clear the way for you.’” (Chapter 29, _The Last Temptation of Christ_, pg. 425, par. 3)

Kazantzakis takes many poetic liberties in the story of Christ and a few of them completely change the perspective of the Bible itself. One of the moments he slightly changes in the Last Supper, where there is an addition part before the meal or Passover begins. What is the significance of adding tears along with the fresh and the blood of Christ?

While the fresh and the blood or passageways for humanity to be able to be saved and have eternal life in heaven, the tears represent humanity itself by literally being “the tears which our fathers shed in the land of slavery.” The tears in themselves represent Jesus as a man, and both the fresh and the blood represent God within Jesus, having powers over salvation. All three of them symbolize morality and immortality, but in very specific ways. The fresh is bread and the blood is wine, things that are eaten normally. On the other hand, the tears are salt water, something that is usually not used for consumption. Another thing that is important is the fact that Jesus and Judas have cups filled all the way to the brim with the salt water. As their tasks are the most sacrificial, it contributes to the amount of tears they must consume. Their tasks are set, so the tears are a passageway and are emphasized through Jesus and Judas drinking them in one gulp, while the others with less in their cups grimace through the process.

Posted by: Kristen Collins at February 4, 2015 06:30 AM

Lorie Jewell
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature CA01
4 February 2015

Question: In the first half of Chapter 30, what clues does Kazantzakis give the reader to indicate Jesus is having a dream?

Answer: The angel appears almost human, in a comforting way – “His voice was deep and caressing, compassionate and familiar . . . The voices of the angels Jesus had heard until now had been severe, and they had always scolded him” (Kazantzakis 445). Given that Jesus is hanging from a cross in his alternate reality, comfort must be weighing heavily on his mind; this helps explain why he believes the so-called angel when he tells him that God changed his mind about the crucifixion. He also knows immediately after having sex with Mary Magdalene that she is pregnant with a boy; he decides the baby’s name will Paraclete, which means Comforter. Everything the devil is tempting Jesus with are things he has in his heart, his deepest desires, which explains why the dream lasts so long.

Posted by: Lorie Jewell at February 4, 2015 07:47 AM

Sean DeJesus and Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature CA01
3 February 2015

Question:
How did Judas react to Jesus’s request to be betrayed?

Answer:
Throughout The Last Temptation of Christ, Judas is treated as a villain and is hated by a lot of the people Jesus and his followers meet. At a few points, he is called “descendant of Cain (Kazantzakis 110),” pegging him for a murderer. Though he does not always help himself to be liked by others, it should not be a surprise he eventually wanted to kill Jesus. In the second half of Chapter 11, Judas confronts Jesus with the intention to kill him, and Jesus obliges, admitting that he is ready to die. This confuses Judas into doubting what he needed to do and also causes him to plan another way to kill Jesus. Eventually, Judas decides to report Jesus to the authorities to be arrested and later crucified.

Posted by: Craig Graves at February 4, 2015 07:51 AM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature CA01
4 February 2015

Question for the Second Half of Chapter 32:
Why was Jesus chanting “liar” to Paul as he tried to spread the news about him? Is Paul actually lying or does Jesus not believe him?

Answer:
When Paul, formerly “Bloodthirsty Saul (Kazantzakis 473),” arrives in town spreading the news about Jesus’s miraculous life, his return from the dead, and his ascension into Heaven, Jesus acts surprised and calls Paul a liar. Though it is not explicitly explained in the text, Jesus calling Paul a liar is to test the strength of Paul’s new found faith in Jesus. One cannot possibly be strong in faith if being called a liar is upsetting or arises doubt in one’s faith. When Jesus reveals himself to Paul, it sounds as though Jesus does not even know for sure what has happened to him, and in a way he does not know. To him it sounds like a dream, but to Paul it is all fact. This argument can be considered a dichotomy of perceptions. Jesus perceived that he merely dreamed of his crucifixion and believes he is fully the son of humans. Paul perceived a miracle of Jesus (his visage appearing before him in a time of need) and believes Jesus to be the son of God, sent to the people in a way they might accept better. In the Christian religions, both of these answers of who Jesus is are acceptable belief systems.

Posted by: Craig Graves at February 4, 2015 08:15 AM

Ashley Gross and Lorie Jewell
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the World CA01
4 February 2015

Question:
What are some of the conflicts in Jesus’s meeting with Pontius Pilate?

Answer:
In this scene, the conflicts present include man vs. man and belief vs. nonbelief. Throughout the entire scene, it is practically a battle of egos. Pontius Pilate clearly respects Jesus, but he is constantly tearing both Jesus and his people down while Jesus repeatedly responds with notions of his beliefs. “I find the Jews disgusting. They never wash themselves, and they have a God in their own image: long-haired, unwashed, grasping, boastful, and as vindictive as a camel” (Kazantzakis 381). “Know that this God has already lifted his fist over Rome, Jesus said again calmly” (Kazantzakis 381). The second conflict is belief vs. nonbelief. Pontius Pilate will often mock what Jesus claims will happen and things that have occurred, such as the resurrection. “You prepared everything very cleverly. You’ve even started, I hear, to revive the dead: yes, you’re clearing the road. Later on, in the same way, your disciples will spread the word that you didn’t die, that you were resurrected and ascended to heaven. But, my dear rascal, you’ve missed the boat. Your tricks are out of date, so you’d better find some new ones” (Kazantzakis 382).

Posted by: Ashley Gross at February 4, 2015 08:21 AM

Ashley Gross
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the World CA01
4 February 2015

"The Negro slid down from the edge of the roof without a sound and stepped in front of them. Mary got up and left. She did not like this strange adopted child. He did not grow, he did not age; he was not a man, he was a spirit, an evil spirit that had entered the house and would not leave again. And she did not like his derisive, frolicking eyes, nor his secret conversations with Jesus during the night"(Kazantzakis 483).

Question- First part of chapter 33:
Why was the "evil spirit" leaving Jesus so important?

Answer:
The "evil spirit" brought about all of Jesus's temptation and desire. "Is this the way you say goodbye to me? Can you be so ungrateful? All my years of toil for your sake, all my efforts to give you every joy you desired: were those efforts in vain" (Kazantzakis 483). The spirit leaving allowed Jesus to move beyond a life of temptation. "If your purpose was to smother me in honey, like a bee, your pains have gone to waste. I've eaten all the honey I wanted, all I could, but I did not dip in my wings. My soul" (Kazantzakis 483).

Posted by: Ashley Gross at February 4, 2015 08:38 AM

Hannah McCafferty
Dr. Hobbes
ENG 410 Reading the Planet
3 February 2015

Question: How does Kazantzakis represent women in the twenty-fourth chapter?
Answer: It is intriguing because Kazantzakis is unclear with his opinions of women in his literature. For instance, he gives two very different depictions of women during this chapter. First, Kazantzakis writes Magdalene saying, “Rabbi, why do you talk to me about the future life? We are not men, to have need of another, an eternal life we are women, and for us one moment with the man we love is everlasting Paradise, one moment far from the man we love is everlasting hell. It is here on this earth that we women live out eternity” (Kazantzakis 353). Through Magdalene, Kazantzakis is describing women’s reliance on men in order to live a happy life. Magdalene believes women are not strong; they need men to make living bearable. However, Kazantzakis contrasts that with Salome’s quiet feminism and strength. At the end of the chapter, Salome acknowledges that she does not need Zebedee in order to be happy. In fact, she would be happier without him, so she does something amazing for that time period, she acts on her feelings. Salome immediately is willing to give up her comfortable life in order to follow a more noble cause. She can separate herself from the man she “loves.” The reader is left the reader wondering if Kazantzakis is commenting on women’s neediness or the lack of acknowledgement they receive for their strength.

Posted by: Hannah McCafferty at February 4, 2015 08:43 AM

Marcus Chisholm/Emily Finck
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-410-CA01
4 February 2015
3. Jesus Meets John the Baptist/Baptizer
“Don’t you know me?” said Jesus, advancing one more step. His own voice was trembling: he knew that his fate depended on the Baptist’s reply.”
“It’s him, him, the Baptist was thinking. His heart thumped furiously and he could not, dared not, decide. Once more he stretched forward his neck: “Who are you?” he asked again.”
“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus answered in a voice sweet yet complaining, as though he were scolding him. “Haven’t you read the prophets? What does Isaiah say? Forerunner, don’t you remember?”
• Man-Vs-Man
o Jesus assumes that John the Baptist should know him and demands to know why he does not.
• However, John the Baptist knows exactly who Jesus is, but is in shock that he has met him.
• The shock that over comes John the Baptist leads him to believe it’s possibly not the Messiah, which leads him to ask, “who are you?”

Posted by: Marcus Chisholm/Emily Finck at February 4, 2015 09:02 AM

Marcus Chisholm
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-410-CA01
8 February 2015
Chapter 31
“The angel laughed. “Alone, you cannot find God. Two persons are needed, a man and a woman. You didn’t know that—I taught it to you; and thus, after so many years of seeking God, you finally found him—when you joined Mary. And now you sit in the darkness, you listen to him laugh and cry, and you rejoice.”
“That is the meaning of God,” Jesus murmured, “that is the meaning of man. This is the road.” He again closed his eyes.” (Chapter 31: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 934, para. 5)
Explain this quote. What is the ‘meaning of God,’ according to the angel?
According to the angel, in order to find the meaning of God, we must first find him. Jesus at first explains to the Angel that even though it was difficult to find find God, he is happy. The Angel explains that, in order for Jesus to find God, Jesus had to meet Mary. Both a woman and a man must truly come together before God is found. Man cannot find God without the power of a woman and the meaning of God is the road to his Kingdom.

Posted by: Marcus Chisholm/Emily Finck at February 9, 2015 12:49 AM

Natalie Cassidy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet
20 January 2016

Question: Throughout the first few chapters of the book, many people ask Jesus what is going on in his head, why is he journeying to the monastery, and what possesses his mind. For example, Mary, Jacob (Zebedee’s elder son), and Magdalene ask Jesus numerous questions in which he refuses to answer. Why is it in chapter 10 that Jesus opens up to his uncle Simeon at the monastery and confesses his thoughts?

Answer: In the previous chapters, Jesus is very unhappy with his life and feels empty and attacked. When he reaches the monastery, Jesus finally feels a sense of relief. This feeling of relief aids in Jesus’ confession to Simeon. Also, Simeon tells Jesus that being ashamed is a form of temptation in which Jesus needs to conquer. Jesus opens up to Simeon because he feels comfortable with his uncle, and because Jesus does not want to fall into the temptation of shame. Simeon tactfully gets Jesus to open up and reveal his thoughts, dreams, and sins.

Posted by: Natalie at January 20, 2016 04:21 PM

Nicole Klukowski
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Comparative Global Lit
20 January 2016

“’These are my last words, Friars. You’re all thick-headed, so I shall speak in parables.’
‘We’re listening, Holy Abbot,’ Father Habakkuk repeated.
The Abbot bowed his head and lowered his voice. ‘First came the wings and then the angel!’” (Chapter 8: The Last Temptation of Christ, bottom of page 104, Bien translation)

Question: Because the Abbot has seen the Angel of Death he believes he will soon die. His choice of last words seems odd to Father Habakkuk, who points out that the phrase is not from scripture. What does the Holy Abbot mean by the phrase? Why would he choose this phrase as his last words?
Answer: “First came the wings and then the Angel” is a parable that seeks to describe the coming of the Messiah. The angel in the parable refers to Jesus. The wings are the needed preparations for the Messiah. The Abbot explains the “wings” of the Israelites began beating in the beginning because they longed for freedom (105). He believes that the faster the wings beat, the faster the Messiah will come. This assumption places the responsibility for the Messiah’s coming on the people. The Holy Abbot tells the Friars this phrase so that they will stay vigilant and prepare for the Messiah.

Posted by: Nicole Klukowski at January 20, 2016 06:13 PM

Giuseppe Donnian
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410
21 January 2016

"Then, suddenly, a wind blew and I was stripped bare. I fold my arms over my fallow breasts. Lord, your will has been done: you made me blossom, you blew, the petals fell away. Is there no hope I may blossom again, Lord?" (Chapter 10: The Last Temptation of Christ. Bottom of paragraph 1.)

Many times throughout this chapter wind is mentioned. It is first mentioned when Mary is stripped bear. Then, when they enter the cloister. Finally, there is a windstorm that arises in the desert. What do you believe the wind represents in this chapter?

The wind represents the presence of God. The wind blows off Mary's clothes when she is talking about her virgin conception. Then the windstorm picks up when the monk mentions the Lord. The wind is also present when they are praying homage to the dead. The wind represents the divinity of God and his effect on the story.

Posted by: Giuseppe Donnian at January 21, 2016 04:57 PM

Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Global Lit. CA01
21 January 2016
“The Last Temptation of Christ” Ch. 11 pt. 1
“The youth got up and carefully opened the door. Putting out his head, he listened. The snakes were completely silent now-- at last. Pleased, he turned to the old rabbi. ‘Give me your blessing, Father, and do not say anything else to me. You’ve spoken quite enough; I cannot bear to hear more.’” (Chapter 11: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 153, par. 12, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: If the demons in Jesus’s heart have left his body, why is he still clinging to fear? His uncle was able to help him extricate the demons by talking, but why is Jesus still unwilling to speak the word of God at his uncle’s request?

Answer: In chapter ten, Jesus confesses that he is still grieving over Magdalene. Although Jesus has not come to terms in chapter eleven with his personal demons, he was unsuccessful in saving Magdalene from prostitution. In order to truly find courage, Jesus must correct his mistake with Magdalene to prove to himself that he does not hurt people he becomes attached to. “Proud gaited, high-rumped Magdalene passed through the youth’s mind… Her body changed, multiplied, and the son of Mary now saw… thousands of men and women – thousands of Magdalenes – with happy, uplifted faces… It was himself, Jesus of Nazareth, who bent over those faces and caus[ed] them to overflow with splendor” (Kazantzakis 147). Once Jesus gains confidence by saving his old friend, he can finally have the courage to save all men.

Posted by: Annie Hays at January 21, 2016 07:30 PM

Nicole Alvarez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature
22 January 2016

“What will become of Jonah and Zebedee?” he asked one day, his eyes lost in the distance. The two old men seemed to him at the ends of the earth. “And what about Jacob and Peter? Where are they; in what surroundings are they now suffering?”
“We shall find them all,” Jesus answered with a smile, “and each one of them will find us. Do not be sad, Andrew. The Father’s courtyards are wide; there is room for all” (Kazantzakis 197-198 Ch. 14 par. 20-21).

Question: Here Andrew asks Jesus about his loved ones and wondering what will happen to them when Andrew himself is now so happy and full of joy and Jesus answers Andrew saying that they will find each other in the Father’s courtyards. What would lead Jesus to believe that they would find everyone the party knew later on and what are the “Father’s courtyards” that Jesus mentions?

Answer: Jesus knows that Andrew will one day see Jonah, Zebedee, Jacob, and Peter in the Father’s courtyards because God spoke to him and told him that God loved all. To show further proof of this all-encompassing love the party came upon Ananias, Jesus spoke a parable of a rich man who went to Hell and the poor neighbor who went to Heaven. In the parable, God responded to the poor man and “was glad. ‘Lazarus, beloved,’ he said, ‘go down; take the thirster by the hand. My fountains are inexhaustible’” (Kazantzakis 202 Ch. 14 par. 51). The Father’s wide courtyards are where His inexhaustible fountains are and this alluded to be the kingdom of Heaven.

Posted by: Nicole Alvarez at January 21, 2016 08:41 PM

Daniella Zacarias Kattán
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 - Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures
20 January 2016
“The redbeard leaned over, gazed at them and shook his large-boned head with disdain. The sleeper heard his thoughts: They don’t believe. That’s why they degenerated, that’s why I am being tormented: they don’t believe.
He extended his immense hairy hand. ‘Look!’ he said, pointing to the plain below, which was drowned in morning hoar frost.
‘We don’t see anything, Captain. It’s dark.’
‘You don’t see anything? Why, then, don’t you believe?’
‘We do, Captain, we do. That’s why we follow you. But we don’t see anything.’
‘Look again!’” (Chapter 1, page 8, par2 2-6, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: The passage above is a part of Jesus of Kazantzakis’s Earthly torment in chapter one. How can the phrases “We don’t see anything,” and “Why, then, don’t you believe?” be connected to the commonly held Christian behind of believing in what cannot be physically seen? (Kazantzakis 8). How does this blind belief distress Jesus of Kazantzakis?

Answer: The “dwarfs” tell Jesus of Kazantzakis that they do not see anything when they are told to “Look!” They claim that because it is too dark they cannot see, but Jesus claims that the dwarfs do not see because they do not believe. The commonly held Christian belief of believing in what cannot be physically seen is tied to the dwarfs’ blind following of something which they cannot see. It can be assumed that their belief is merely stated, but not spiritually/Heavenly felt. This mere stating-but-not-feeling kind of belief distresses Kazantzakis’ Jesus, not only because of the hypocrisy behind this way of “believing,” but also because to him he is indeed pointing at a scene; “Lowering his hand like a sword, he pierced the hoar frost and uncovered the plain beneath. A blue lake was awakening. It smiled and glittered as it pushed aside its blanket of frost. Great nestfuls of eggs—villages and hamlets—gleamed brilliantly white under the date palms, all around its pebbly shores and in the middle of the fields of grain.” (Kazantzakis 8).

Posted by: Daniella Zacarias at January 22, 2016 12:09 AM

Leona Hunt
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Comparative Global Literatures
21 January 2016

“Savage laughter again tore the woman’s throat. ‘You bleat away piteously: “It’s my fault … it’s my fault, my sister … I shall save you …” but oh no, you don’t lift your head like a man to confess the truth. You crave my body, and instead of saying so, which you wouldn’t dare, you start blaming my soul and saying you want to save it. What soul, daydreamer? A woman’s soul is her flesh. You know it, you know it; but you don’t have the courage to take this soul in your arms like a man and kiss it—kiss it and save it! I pity you and detest you.” (Kazantzakis 71)

Question: In chapter 7 of Nikos Kazantzakis’s “The Last Temptation of Christ,” Jesus tried to avoid Mary Magdalene but ended up spending the night at her place and asking for her forgiveness. Jesus’s actions reflect his struggles between physical desire and spiritual morality. Why is it an important scene for Jesus to encounter Magdalene before he enters the desert? And despite their different occupations, how are Jesus and Magdalene’s situations (the pious man and the whore) parallel?

Answer: It is a significant decision for Jesus to choose to see Magdalene rather than ignore her residence. Initially, he wanted to avoid her because of his fear (regret, temptation, et cetera) upon encountering her: “I must go away, must escape, he thought, must not set foot in Magdala—curse the place! I won’t stop till I reach the desert and bury myself in the monastery. There I shall kill the flesh and turn it into spirit.” (Kazantzakis 65) But, instead, by choosing to wait in line with Magdalene’s lovers to speak with her, he ends up revealing his weakness for the flesh and worldly associations. Jesus is humanized through his inability to go straight to the monastery, to easily take the direct path that would lead him to salvation and God. Furthermore, his encounter with Magdalene reveals the inner turmoil Jesus has when he resists earthly temptations: “The young man felt a spasm in his heart. Oh, if he could only lose his fear of God, could only clasp her in his arms, wipe away her tears, caress her hair and gladden her heart …” (Kazantzakis 72)

When Jesus and Magdalene have their heated discussion, they both suffer from not having complete control of the choices in their lives. While Jesus has devoted his life to God, Mary has devoted her life to “the mud” for solace. By the end of their conversation, “they remained kneeling one opposite the other under the light of the lamp, and said nothing more. Both were hungry, both had suffered much anguish on this day, and they ate to replenish their forces.” (Kazantzakis 76) Although Mary chooses the material path, and Jesus chooses the divine path, their journeys both end up experiencing the same heartbreak, temptation, sadness, and regret.

Posted by: Leona Hunt at January 22, 2016 01:08 AM

Jacie Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures
22 January 2016

The Last Temptation of Christ: Chapter 3

“She only sighed from the bottom of her heart—sighed, however, not for her son but for her own fate. She had been so unfortunate in her life, unfortunate in her husband, unfortunate in her son…At these times she cried not for her husband or her son but for her own wasted life” (Chapter 3: Kazantizakis, page 28, par. 36 , pdf translation).

Question: This text depicts a very different picture than the traditional Mary most are used to. Instead of bearing the son of God as being a privilege, it makes it more out to be a burden. Which outcome is more realistic, and why?

Answer: I believe the scenario Kazantizakis gave us is more realistic than the traditional Christian view on her. I had never really thought about the struggles of Mary in such depth. Having the Son of God is a huge responsibility. Jesus has to deal with a lot of torment and inner struggles that are far beyond her realm of comprehension. Mary admits that “she had grown weary of having him brought to her unconscious every two minutes in someone’s arms, of seeing him depart to wander through fields or in deserted places, to remain day and night without food…” (27). She tried to seek help from the rabbi, but even he couldn’t give her solace (Kazantizakis 28). Mary was a mother that had to watch her child struggle and suffer and could do nothing to help. Eventually Jesus was becoming someone she barely recognized at all (29). I don’t blame her for the way she turned out. I feel as though most everyone would have come out that way. It is much more realistic than what modern churches paint of her; as if she were perfect and practically a saint herself. The strain of having an immaculate birth tore her marriage up as seen from the shriveled up engagement staff (27). The doubt Joseph must have felt and the social implications of the pregnancy obviously took a toll. The narrator sees him with “glassy” eyes, looking lifeless and dead (27). Mary grew bitter and frankly, no one can fault her.

Posted by: Jacie Dieffenwierth at January 22, 2016 02:10 AM

Lauren Kilton


Dr. Hobbs


Comparative Global Literatures


22 January 2016


The Last Temptation of Christ:
Chapter 13 Discussion Question


“My heart was angry; it incited me to cry: God is fire!—yes, just like your prophet the Baptist—God is fire, he’s coming! Men without law, without justice, without honor: where will you hide? He is coming! . . . That’s what my heart tried to make me shout, but you anointed my lips with honey, and instead, I cried, ‘Love! Love!’”
(Chapter 13, page 193, par. 1, P. A. Bien translation)


Question: How does this passage exemplify Jesus’s inherent duality of God and man?


Answer: In this passage, Jesus alludes to the conventional proclamation of God’s will made by the Baptist and all other prophets who “sprouted up every day of the year” and seemed to attack “whatever was stable and good in this world” (184). Jesus identifies with them in terms of their message derived from human fear, anger, and judgment, as he is fully human and thus, his perspective is often clouded by such instincts. Furthermore, that which he knows to proclaim is based on his human experience living among men who tend to regard their own ideas of justice as those of God. However, as a result of being touched by God and given a piece of his substance, or nature, Jesus finds himself encouraging nothing but love for all.

Posted by: Lauren Kilton at January 22, 2016 10:06 AM

William McDermott
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet - Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
22 January 2016

“Do not be afraid; have faith! God’s law is such that the knife must reach clear to the bone. Otherwise no miracle will take place! Listen to your old rabbi, my children. I’m telling you the truth. Man cannot sprout wings unless he has first reached the brink of abyss!” (Chapter 4, page 37. P. A. Bien translation. Online.)

The rabbi claims that the Hebrews must suffer before they have the power to overcome the oppression of the Romans. However, the book shows characters that do not have the patience for suffering, such as Jesus flogging himself to resist any temptation and the Hebrew rebels not waiting for their savior to commit a miracle, instead trying to spring the Zealot from jail. Does this impatience show that these people are losing faith in God?

Posted by: William McDermott at January 22, 2016 10:55 AM

Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature CA01
22 January 2016

If he was a man, truly, that was what he had to do to save her. What did she care about fasting, prayer and monasteries? No, these were not the way—how could they possibly save a woman? To take her from this bed, to leave, to open a workshop in a distant village, for the two of them to live like man and wife, have children, suffer and rejoice like human beings: that was the woman’s way of salvation and the way in which the man could be saved with her—the only way! (Kazantzakis 72, Bien translation)

Question: If Magdalene is such a strong temptation, why does Jesus stop to visit her in Magdala?

Answer: Jesus tries to avoid Magdala by going around the lake, but ends up passing through the city. He tries to flee, but cannot seem to control his body. He concludes that it is God that is pushing him along this path: “I must see her, must see her, he heard a sweet voice within him say. It’s necessary. God has guided my feet—God, not my own mind” (Kazantzakis 66, Bien translation). Up to this point, Jesus had avoided Magdalene because of shame and embarrassment. Jesus concludes that God guides him to Magdalene’s house so he can beg forgiveness: “Before I enter the monastery and put on the white gown I must beg her forgiveness. Otherwise it will not be possible for me to be saved. Thank you, Lord, for bringing me where I did not want to come!” (Kazantzakis 66, Bien translation).

In Magdala, Magdalene reveals that it is Jesus who awakened her lust: “’We glued the soles of our feet together, felt the warmth of our bodies mix, rise from our feet to our thighs, from our thighs to our loins. […] Never in my whole life have I felt such sweetness.’ She paused, and then: ‘it is that sweetness, Jesus, which I’ve been seeking ever since from man to man; but I have not found it.’” (Kazantzakis 75-6, Bien translation). Although he was young and did not know what he was doing, in a way it was Jesus’ fault for Magdalene’s situation. He tried to right his wrong by proposing to her when they were young, but God struck him down. As a result, Magdalene remained unwed and eventually became a prostitute.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at January 22, 2016 10:58 AM

Alyssa Barca
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
21 January 2016

"...two fuzzy butterflies , both black and splashed with red, fluttered down between them and flew back and forth from one to the other, not wanting to leave. Feeling their caress on the top of his head, he recalled God's talons, and it seemed to him that these and the butterfly wings brought him the identical message. Ah, if only God could always descend to man not as a thunderbolt or a clawing vulture but as a butterfly!"(Chapter 9:Nikos Kazantzakis)

Question: In chapter 9, Jesus is questioning himself as to why he did not marry Magdalene saving her from "shame and death", why he refused to rise when God demanded he get up from the ground, and how hiding in the desert will ever shield him from God. What symbolic purpose/message do the butterflies that appear around him serve? What is the "identical message" that Jesus is referring to?

Answer: When I first read this passage from chapter 9, the butterfly reference immediately made me think of resurrection, and Jesus being surrounded by butterflies gave a sense of foreshadowing. Additionally, I draw the comparison between Jesus and a butterfly both going through transformations, or being "born again", into something more beautiful than they were before. Aside from the resurrection symbolism, the butterflies appearing acted as a sense of joy and hope for Jesus at a time when he felt so alone and cowardly. Earlier in the chapter, Jesus expresses that his heart is "filled with grievance and hate", and then ironically something so graceful and angelic appears before him. The identical message God is sending to Jesus through the butterflies is that he is not alone, and there is no need to be afraid. Lastly, God is showing that Jesus' meaningful transformation (similar to butterflies) will be coming soon.

Posted by: Alyssa Barca at January 22, 2016 11:35 AM

Nicholas Santos
Dr. Hobbs
ENG410 Global Comparative Literatures CA01
20 January 2016

“Jesus trembled secretly and struggled to find courage. This was the moment he had feared so many years. It had come; God had conquered, had brought him by force where he wanted him—in front of men—in order to make him speak” (Chapter Thirteen, page 141 [PDF ver.], par. 7, P.A. Bien Translation).

Question: The power of God versus the power of the flesh appears to be a central theme in The Last Temptation of Christ. With this in mind, take a critical look at the contrasting images of God and man in this passage. Does Kazantzakis’ specific choice to use the word “men” have a greater impact on this passage? What exactly is it about the men and women before Jesus in this passage that makes him fearful? How is this a representation of the burden of Jesus’ role as the messiah?

Answer: Jesus sees something in the people he speaks to that reminds him of the power of God and the weakness of the flesh; hunger. Three paragraphs before this passage, details in the people’s faces reveal how they are “wrinkled, sorrowful, [and] shrunken by hunger” and that their eyes “looked at him with reproach, as though he was to blame” (141). This stern look can be correlated to God’s metaphorical look at Jesus to fulfill his destiny as the messiah. Furthermore, because Jesus is of the flesh, he realizes that he, too, is no more a greater force than the hungry people before him, making it harder for him to find the courage to be the “hero” they need when, in reality, he is simply just a man. God’s true challenge, then, is to make Jesus understand his physical role as a man while also surpassing this physical role.

Posted by: Nicholas Santos at January 22, 2016 11:39 AM

Erin Gaylord
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet
22 January, 2016

Chapter 5

Question: When Simeon is telling the secret that will comfort their hearts, he starts out saying, “My children, our hearts have filled with crosses…” What do you think this means?

Answer: He is referring to all of the prophets that were crucified on the crosses and how they are becoming impatient as each prophet is killed and the Messiah is not found, so they keep asking God when the Messiah will come.

Posted by: Erin Gaylord at January 22, 2016 12:42 PM

Cheryl Nance
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 – Comparative Global Literature
22 Jan 2016

“Jesus spoke to them of love, the Father, the kingdom of heaven. He explained which souls were the foolish virgins, which the wise, what the lamps were and what the oil, who the bridegroom was and why the foolish virgins not only entered his house, as did the wise, but were the only ones to have their tired feet washed by the servants.” (Chapter 15, page 220, paragraph 2, P. A. Bien translation)

Question: This passage refers to Jesus explaining the wedding parable to his disciples. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is like a wedding, and God is the bridegroom. Are the foolish virgins the ones who brought extra oil with them or are they the ones who ran out and went back for more oil? Why are the foolish virgins given entry after the door was closed? Why were they given the special treatment of having their feet washed?

Answer: Jesus said the bridegroom in his story ordered the people to “Open the door for the foolish virgins and wash and refresh their feet, for they have run much” (217). This quote implies that the foolish virgins are the one who ran out of oil. After thinking about Jesus’ explanation, the disciples think that “Sin now appeared to them like a foolish virgin standing with her extinguished lamp, imploring and weeping before the door of the Lord” (220). The foolish virgins are let into heaven because all sin will be forgiven there. They are given special treatment of having their feet washed because they have suffered more. Jesus references this in chapter 13 when he says “However much we suffer pain and hunger in this world, by that much, and more, shall we be filled in heaven” (186).

Posted by: Cheryl Nance at January 22, 2016 12:54 PM

Alexis Lebkey
Professor Hobbs
ENG 410
22 January 2016


“‘If you knew who it was that says to you, ‘Woman, give me a drink,’ you would fall at his feet and ask him to give you immortal drink.’”
(Chapter 15, page 221, paragraph 5, P.A. Bien translation)


Q: This passage refers to the moment that Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, and he seemed to present himself as the Messiah. Are there other moments that point to Jesus understanding and accepting that he is the Messiah?


A: It would seem that Jesus now speaks with two voices, the voice of God and his own. Later the woman at the well asks him, “Can you be the One we’re waiting for?” and when the disciples appear before Jesus can answer her, he is “delighted to see them, for now he was saved from having to answer the woman’s terrible question” (222). The contradiction of him saying “if you knew who it was that says to you…” and later not wanting to tell her who he is, shows that the first voice was God’s, and the last one was Jesus (222). The first time he recognizes out loud that he is the Messiah is in Chapter 10 when he confesses to the Rabbi, "There's a devil inside me which cries, 'You're not the son of the Carpenter, you're the son of King David! You are not a man, you are the son of man whom Daniel prophesied. And still more: the son of God! And still more: God!" (147). This passage shows that he is not only a man, but he is also both man and God.

Posted by: Alexis Lebkey at January 22, 2016 01:01 PM

Marie Umholtz
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410
22 January 2016
“The young man could now see the redbeard’s course, unstable face more clearly. It was not one, but two. When one half laughed the other threatened, when one half was in pain the other remained stiff and immobile; and even when both halves became reconciled for an instant, beneath the reconciliation you still felt that God and the devil were wrestling irreconcilable.” (Chapter 2, page 16, par. 7, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: Here, the author describes Judas’ twofaced, conflicting qualities. How does Judas’ appearance reflect Jesus’ inner turmoil, and what role does Judas play in Jesus’ fear and guilt?

Answer: Kazantzakis uses imagery of conflict throughout the chapter, and Jesus himself feels torn and confused; when Judas sees that Jesus appears physically worn, Jesus generally tells him that he is “‘wrestling’” (21), though he truly feels he is struggling against God. Judas’ dual quality resembles Jesus’ inner confusion and conflict, as he wonders, “‘Who can tell them [God and the devil] apart? They exchange faces; God sometimes becomes all darkness, the devil all light, and the mind of man is left in a muddle.’ He shuddered. There were two paths. Which way should he go, which path should he choose?” (15). Beyond Judas’ dual expression, he also incites fear and pride in Jesus, as Kazantzakis explains, “He feared this man and did not want him to come, for deep within him was an old wound which would not close. . . . He was ashamed, afraid. . . . he spun in his mind how one day he would wash away his shame, prove he was better than they were, surpass them all. And after so many years, the wound had never closed” (15). Since a young age, Judas has physically and verbally abused Jesus and hurts his pride as well. Just as Jesus wrestles with his mental and spiritual turmoil, Judas is also an external reminder of Jesus’ guilt. Jesus repeatedly blames himself for the other’s misfortunes around him; Judas belittles and intimidates Jesus, boldly accuses him, and further encourages Jesus’ guilt. In his dialogue with Judas, Jesus must confront the truth of his sacrificial destiny, when Judas questions how Jesus can make up for his guilt (19).

Posted by: Marie Umholtz at January 22, 2016 01:12 PM

Seger Sipe
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
22 January 2016

“‘Why do you build crosses?’ he thundered finally.
The young man lowered his head. This was his secret— how could he reveal it? How could the blacksmith give credence to the dreams which God sent him, or to the voices he heard when he was all alone, or the talons which nailed themselves into the top of his head and wanted to lift him to heaven? (Chapter 11, page 345)

Question: This passage refers to the moment in which Judas is speaking to Jesus, trying to understand fully who the son of the Carpenter truly is as a person. Why does Judas challenge and make demands towards Jesus, and what is Jesus’s response to the blacksmith?

Answer: Seemingly, Judas is confused as to why Jesus is not frightened nor willing to fight for his life. Judas’s provocations do little to stir Jesus, and it proves to be upsetting because Judas tries to rationalize possibilities, even thinking “I wonder if it’s the devil who’s guiding him—or God?” (346). In response to Judas, Jesus tries to explain that his secret is pitying man and all of God’s creations. Jesus further explains that he does not fear death, stating, “Death is not a door which closes; it is a door which opens” (349).

Posted by: Seger Sipe at January 22, 2016 01:14 PM

Jonah Robertson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Comparative Global Literature in Translation
1/22/16

“Andrew raised his bony arm: ‘Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves!’ he shouted to them all. ‘Don’t you fear God? The world is perishing, and here you tread the grapes and laugh” (128)
Question:
When Andrew appears in this chapter, he begins immediately to condemn Zebedee and the others, and telling them to repent. What purpose does Andrew serve in the chaper, and how does his liturgy affect Judas? How does Judas perceive the four grape stompers and Zebedee in relation to Andrew?

Answer:
Andrew exists as a representation of the new perception of faith that is being espoused by John and later Jesus. His talk of death and destruction serves to construct their argument that the world itself is collapsing, and that those who do not repent are damned. Judas reacts to Andrew’s liturgy with apparent intrigue, but says nothing. However, he does not exhibit the disdain that he holds for Zebedee and the others. Judas sees Zebedee as a sinner and an abomination, and it is made clear early in the chapter that he thinks Zebedee doesn’t deserve the abundance that he’s given by God. He also perceives Philip, Jacob, Peter, and Nathaniel as idiots, and gives them no respect.

Posted by: Jonah Robertson at January 22, 2016 02:04 PM

REVISED - Nicole Alvarez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature in Translation CA01
22 January 2016

“What will become of Jonah and Zebedee?” he asked one day, his eyes lost in the distance. The two old men seemed to him at the ends of the earth. “And what about Jacob and Peter? Where are they; in what surroundings are they now suffering?”
“We shall find them all,” Jesus answered with a smile, “and each one of them will find us. Do not be sad, Andrew. The Father’s courtyards are wide; there is room for all”
(Kazantzakis Pg. 197-198, Ch. 14).

Question: Here Andrew asks Jesus about his loved ones and wondering what will happen to them when Andrew himself is now so happy and full of joy and Jesus answers Andrew saying that they will find each other in the Father’s courtyards. What would lead Jesus to believe that they would find everyone the party knew later on and what are the ‘Father’s courtyards’ that Jesus mentions?

Answer: Jesus knows that Andrew will one day see Jonah, Zebedee, Jacob, and Peter in the Father’s courtyards because God spoke to him and told him that God loved all. To show further proof of this all-encompassing love the party came upon Ananias, Jesus spoke a parable of a rich man who went to Hell and the poor neighbor who went to Heaven. In the parable, God responded to the poor man and “was glad. ‘Lazarus, beloved,’ he said, ‘go down; take the thirster by the hand. My fountains are inexhaustible’” (Kazantzakis Pg. 202, Ch. 14). The Father’s wide courtyards are where His inexhaustible fountains are and this is alluded to be the kingdom of Heaven.

Posted by: Nicole Alvarez at January 22, 2016 02:21 PM

Revised- Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
21 January 2016

“The Last Temptation of Christ” Ch. 11 pt. 1 Bien Translation

“The youth got up and carefully opened the door. Putting out his head, he listened. The snakes were completely silent now-- at last. Pleased, he turned to the old rabbi. ‘Give me your blessing, Father, and do not say anything else to me. You’ve spoken quite enough; I cannot bear to hear more.’” (153)

Question: If the demons in Jesus’s heart have left his body, why is he still clinging to fear? His uncle was able to help him extricate the demons by talking, but why is Jesus still unwilling to speak the word of God at his uncle’s request?

Answer: In chapter ten, Jesus confesses that he is still grieving over Magdalene. Although Jesus has not come to terms in chapter eleven with his personal demons, he was unsuccessful in saving Magdalene from prostitution. In order to truly find courage, Jesus must correct his mistake with Magdalene to prove to himself that he does not hurt people he becomes attached to. This necessity to save Magdalene is shown in one of his dreams in Chapter 10. “Proud gaited, high-rumped Magdalene passed through the youth’s mind […] Her body changed, multiplied, and the son of Mary now saw […] thousands of men and women – thousands of Magdalenes – with happy, uplifted faces […] It was himself, Jesus of Nazareth, who bent over those faces and caus[ed] them to overflow with splendor” (Kazantzakis 147). This shows that Magdalene is a symbol for all the people he must save. Once Jesus gains confidence by saving his old friend, he can finally have the courage to save all men.

Posted by: Annie Hays at January 22, 2016 02:21 PM

Revised- Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
21 January 2016

“The Last Temptation of Christ” Ch. 11 pt. 1 Bien Translation

“The youth got up and carefully opened the door. Putting out his head, he listened. The snakes were completely silent now-- at last. Pleased, he turned to the old rabbi. ‘Give me your blessing, Father, and do not say anything else to me. You’ve spoken quite enough; I cannot bear to hear more.’” (153)

Question: If the demons in Jesus’s heart have left his body, why is he still clinging to fear? His uncle was able to help him extricate the demons by talking, but why is Jesus still unwilling to speak the word of God at his uncle’s request?

Answer: In chapter ten, Jesus confesses that he is still grieving over Magdalene. Although Jesus has not come to terms in chapter eleven with his personal demons, he was unsuccessful in saving Magdalene from prostitution. In order to truly find courage, Jesus must correct his mistake with Magdalene to prove to himself that he does not hurt people he becomes attached to. This necessity to save Magdalene is shown in one of his dreams in Chapter 10. “Proud gaited, high-rumped Magdalene passed through the youth’s mind […] Her body changed, multiplied, and the son of Mary now saw […] thousands of men and women – thousands of Magdalenes – with happy, uplifted faces […] It was himself, Jesus of Nazareth, who bent over those faces and caus[ed] them to overflow with splendor” (Kazantzakis 147). This shows that Magdalene is a symbol for all the people he must save. Once Jesus gains confidence by saving his old friend, he can finally have the courage to save all men.

Posted by: Annie Hays at January 22, 2016 02:21 PM

Revised - Nicholas Santos
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
20 January 2016

“Jesus trembled secretly and struggled to find courage. This was the moment he had feared so many years. It had come; God had conquered, had brought him by force where he wanted him—in front of men—in order to make him speak” (Page 141 [PDF ver.], Chapter Thirteen, P.A. Bien Translation).

Question: The power of God versus the power of the flesh appears to be a central theme in The Last Temptation of Christ. With this in mind, take a critical look at the contrasting images of God and man in this passage. Does Kazantzakis’ specific choice to use the word “men” have a greater impact on this passage? Why? What exactly is it about the men and women before Jesus in this passage that makes him fearful of his God-given duty?

Answer: Jesus sees something in the people he speaks to that reminds him of the power of God and the weakness of the flesh; hunger. Three paragraphs before this passage, details in the people’s faces reveal how they are “wrinkled, sorrowful, [and] shrunken by hunger” and that their eyes “looked at him with reproach, as though he was to blame” (141). This stern look can be correlated to God’s metaphorical look at Jesus to fulfill his destiny as the messiah. Furthermore, because Jesus is of the flesh, he realizes that he, too, is no more a greater force than the hungry people before him, making it harder for him to find the courage to be the hero/savior they need when, in reality, he is simply just a man. God’s true challenge, then, is to make Jesus understand his physical role as a man while also surpassing this physical role.

Posted by: Nicholas Santos at January 22, 2016 02:23 PM

Daniella Zacarias Kattán
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 CA01 Reading the Planet - Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
20 January 2016

REVISED

“The redbeard leaned over, gazed at them and shook his large-boned head with disdain. The sleeper heard his thoughts: They don’t believe. That’s why they degenerated, that’s why I am being tormented: they don’t believe.
He extended his immense hairy hand. ‘Look!’ he said, pointing to the plain below, which was drowned in morning hoar frost.
‘We don’t see anything, Captain. It’s dark.’
‘You don’t see anything? Why, then, don’t you believe?’
‘We do, Captain, we do. That’s why we follow you. But we don’t see anything.’
‘Look again!’” (Page 8, Chapter 1, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: The passage above is a part of Jesus of Kazantzakis’s Earthly torment in chapter one. How can the phrases “We don’t see anything,” and “Why, then, don’t you believe?” be connected to the commonly held Christian behind of believing in what cannot be physically seen? (Kazantzakis 8). How does this blind belief distress Jesus of Kazantzakis?

Answer: The “dwarfs” tell Jesus of Kazantzakis that they do not see anything when they are told to “Look!” They claim that because it is too dark they cannot see, but Jesus claims that the dwarfs do not see because they do not believe. The commonly held Christian belief of believing in what cannot be physically seen is tied to the dwarfs’ blind following of something which they cannot see. It can be assumed that their belief is merely stated, but not spiritually/Heavenly felt. This mere stating-but-not-feeling kind of belief distresses Kazantzakis’ Jesus, not only because of the hypocrisy behind this way of “believing,” but also because to him he is indeed pointing at a scene; “Lowering his hand like a sword, he pierced the hoar frost and uncovered the plain beneath. A blue lake was awakening. It smiled and glittered as it pushed aside its blanket of frost. Great nestfuls of eggs—villages and hamlets—gleamed brilliantly white under the date palms, all around its pebbly shores and in the middle of the fields of grain.” (Kazantzakis 8).

Posted by: Daniella Zacarias at January 22, 2016 02:56 PM

Revision--Nicole Klukowski
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CAO 1
20 January 2016

“’These are my last words, Friars. You’re all thick-headed, so I shall speak in parables.’
‘We’re listening, Holy Abbot,’ Father Habakkuk repeated.
The Abbot bowed his head and lowered his voice. ‘First came the wings and then the angel!’” (104, Chapter 8)

Question: Because the Abbot has seen the Angel of Death he believes he will soon die. His choice of last words seems odd to Father Habakkuk, who points out that the phrase is not from scripture. What does the Holy Abbot mean by the phrase? Why would he choose this phrase as his last words?
Answer: “First came the wings and then the Angel” is a parable that seeks to describe the coming of the Messiah. The angel in the parable refers to Jesus. The wings are the needed preparations for the Messiah. The Abbot explains the “wings” of the Israelites began beating in the beginning because they longed for freedom (105). He believes that the faster the wings beat, the faster the Messiah will come. This assumption places the responsibility for the Messiah’s coming on the people. The Holy Abbot tells the Friars this phrase so that they will stay vigilant and prepare for the Messiah.

Posted by: Revision--Nicole Klukowski at January 22, 2016 05:07 PM

Revised: Erin Gaylord
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
22 January 2016

Chapter 5

“The old rabbi climbed up unto a stall to avoid suffocating. “My children,” he said, wiping away his sweat, “our hearts have filled with crosses. My black beard long ago turned gray, my gray beard turned white, my teeth fell to the ground” (Ch. 5, Pg. 55).

Question: When Simeon is telling the secret that will comfort their hearts, he starts out by saying, “My children, our hearts have filled with crosses” What do you think this means?

Answer: He is referring to all of the prophets that were crucified on the crosses and how they are becoming impatient as each prophet is killed without the Messiah being found. The people keep asking God when the Messiah will come. They also often say “Today! Not tomorrow, today!” showing their impatience of the coming of the Messiah (Ch. 4, Pg. 39).

Posted by: Erin Gaylord at January 22, 2016 06:54 PM

Revision

Natalie Cassidy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
20 January 2016

“But the rabbi kept a firm hold on the youth’s knee. ‘Don’t get up,’ he commanded, ‘don’t go away. Shame is also a temptation. Conquer it-stay! I’m going to ask you some questions; I’ll do the asking and you’re going to be patient and answer me… Why did you come to the monastery?” (page 144, chapter 10, Bien translation).

Question: Throughout the first few chapters of the book, many people ask Jesus what is going on in his head. For example, Mary, Jacob, and Magdalene ask Jesus numerous questions in which he refuses to answer. Why is it in chapter 10 that Jesus opens up to his uncle Simeon at the monastery and confesses his thoughts?

Answer: In the previous chapters, Jesus is very unhappy with his life, and he feels empty and attacked. When he reaches the monastery, Jesus finally feels a sense of relief. This feeling of relief aids in Jesus’ confession to Simeon. Also, Simeon tells Jesus that being ashamed is a form of temptation, in which Jesus needs to conquer. Jesus opens up to Simeon because he feels comfortable with his uncle, and because Jesus does not want to fall into the temptation of shame. Simeon tactfully gets Jesus to open up and reveal his thoughts, dreams, and sins.

Posted by: Natalie at January 22, 2016 07:35 PM

Revised - Cheryl Nance
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
22 January 2016

“Jesus spoke to them of love, the Father, the kingdom of heaven. He explained which souls were the foolish virgins, which the wise, what the lamps were and what the oil, who the bridegroom was and why the foolish virgins not only entered his house, as did the wise, but were the only ones to have their tired feet washed by the servants.” (Chapter 15, page 220, paragraph 2, P. A. Bien translation)

Question: This passage refers to Jesus explaining the wedding parable to his disciples. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is like a wedding, and God is the bridegroom. Are the foolish virgins the ones who brought extra oil with them or are they the ones who ran out and went back for more oil? Why are the foolish virgins given entry after the door closed? Why were they given the special treatment of having their feet washed?

Answer: Jesus said the bridegroom in his story ordered the people to “Open the door for the foolish virgins and wash and refresh their feet, for they have run much” (217). This quote implies that the foolish virgins are the one who ran out of oil. After thinking about Jesus’ explanation, the disciples believe that “Sin now appeared to them like a foolish virgin standing with her extinguished lamp, imploring and weeping before the door of the Lord” (220). The foolish virgins are let into the wedding and then get their feet washed just as they would in heaven. Jesus references this in chapter 13 when he says “However much we suffer pain and hunger in this world, by that much, and more, shall we be filled in heaven” (186). The foolish virgins gain entrance because Jesus forgives their sins, and their feet are washed because they suffered pain from running for the oil.

Posted by: Cheryl Nance at January 23, 2016 07:54 PM

Revised - Cheryl Nance
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
22 January 2016

“Jesus spoke to them of love, the Father, the kingdom of heaven. He explained which souls were the foolish virgins, which the wise, what the lamps were and what the oil, who the bridegroom was and why the foolish virgins not only entered his house, as did the wise, but were the only ones to have their tired feet washed by the servants.” (Page 220, Chapter 15, P. A. Bien translation)

Question: This passage refers to Jesus explaining the wedding parable to his disciples. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is like a wedding, and God is the bridegroom. Are the foolish virgins the ones who brought extra oil with them or are they the ones who ran out and went back for more oil? Why are the foolish virgins given entry after the door closed? Why were they given the special treatment of having their feet washed?

Answer: Jesus said the bridegroom in his story ordered the people to “Open the door for the foolish virgins and wash and refresh their feet, for they have run much” (217). This quote implies that the foolish virgins are the one who ran out of oil. After thinking about Jesus’ explanation, the disciples believe that “Sin now appeared to them like a foolish virgin standing with her extinguished lamp, imploring and weeping before the door of the Lord” (220). The foolish virgins are let into the wedding and then get their feet washed just as they would in heaven. Jesus references this in chapter 13 when he says “However much we suffer pain and hunger in this world, by that much, and more, shall we be filled in heaven” (186). The foolish virgins gain entrance because Jesus forgives their sins, and their feet are washed because they suffered pain from running for the oil.

Posted by: Cheryl Nance at January 23, 2016 07:59 PM

Revision-Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature in Translation CA01
22 January 2016

If he was a man, truly, that was what he had to do to save her. What did she care about fasting, prayer and monasteries? No, these were not the way—how could they possibly save a woman? To take her from this bed, to leave, to open a workshop in a distant village, for the two of them to live like man and wife, have children, suffer and rejoice like human beings: that was the woman’s way of salvation and the way in which the man could be saved with her—the only way! (Kazantzakis 72, chapter 7, Bien translation)

Question: If Magdalene is such a strong temptation, why does Jesus stop to visit her in Magdala?

Answer: Jesus tries to avoid Magdala by going around the lake, but ends up passing through the city. He tries to flee, but cannot seem to control his body. He concludes that it is God that is pushing him along this path. He thinks, “I must see her, must see her, he heard a sweet voice within him say. It’s necessary. God has guided my feet—God, not my own mind” (Kazantzakis 66, Bien translation). Up to this point, Jesus had avoided Magdalene because of shame and embarrassment. Jesus concludes that God guides him to Magdalene’s house so he can apologize: “Before I enter the monastery and put on the white gown I must beg her forgiveness. Otherwise it will not be possible for me to be saved. Thank you, Lord, for bringing me where I did not want to come!” (Kazantzakis 66, Bien translation). It is for this reason that he ends up in Magdala at Magdalene’s door.

In Magdala, Magdalene reveals that it is Jesus who awakened her lust: “’We glued the soles of our feet together, felt the warmth of our bodies mix, rise from our feet to our thighs, from our thighs to our loins. […] Never in my whole life have I felt such sweetness.’ She paused, and then: ‘it is that sweetness, Jesus, which I’ve been seeking ever since from man to man; but I have not found it.’” (Kazantzakis 75-6, Bien translation). Although he was young and did not know what he was doing, in a way it was Jesus’ fault for Magdalene’s situation. He tried to right his wrong by proposing to her when they were young, but God struck him down. As a result, Magdalene remained unwed and eventually became a prostitute.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at January 24, 2016 12:25 PM

Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature in Translation CA01
23 January 2016

But man, without God, born as he is unarmed, would have been obliterated by hunger, fear and cold; and if he survived these, he would have crawled like a slug midway between the lions and lice; and if with incessant struggle he managed to stand on his hind legs, he would never have been able to escape the tight, warm, tender embrace of his mother the monkey. ... Reflecting on this, Jesus felt more deeply than he had ever felt before that God and man could become one. (Kazantzakis 215, chapter 19, Bien translation)

Question: Why exactly does Jesus feel that “God and man could become one?” (Kazantzakis 215, chapter 19, Bien translation)

Answer: Jesus believes that God and man could be united because of their close relationship with one another. Humanity relies on God for physical needs such as food, shelter, and safety. It also relies on God for spiritual needs. Without God, humanity never would have become separate from the animals; as Jesus contemplates, man would still be in the “tender embrace of his mother the monkey” (Kazantzakis 215, chapter 19, Bien translation). Humanity needs God to survive and reach its full potential.

What’s interesting, though, is that Jesus says God also needs man. God and humanity are interdependent; humanity needs God to fulfill him physically and spiritually, and God needs humanity to rule over the Earth. Jesus muses that, “without man, God would have no mind on this Earth to reflect upon his creatures intelligibly and to examine, fearfully yet impudently, his wise omnipotence. He would have on this Earth no heart to pity the concerns of others and to struggle to beget virtues and cares which God either did not want, or forgot, or was afraid to fashion” (Kazantzakis 215, chapter 19, Bien translation). In this way, man is a litmus test that tells God what is missing from creation, what is wrong, and what is right. God also needs man to “continue creation” (Kazantzakis 215, chapter 19, Bien translation). Man cares for the animals of the Earth and perpetuates life through reproduction. God needs man as a steward for the Earth, a means of perfecting his creation.

Since humanity and God are so closely intertwined, Jesus feels that they could “become one” (Kazantzakis 215, chapter 19, Bien translation). This oneness will come through Jesus himself, the Son of God. Jesus is a human but has a divine spirit as God’s offspring. As Jesus predicts, God and humanity become one within him.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at January 24, 2016 01:11 PM

Alexis Lebkey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG410 Global Comparative Literature CA01
22 January 2016

“‘If you knew who it was that says to you, ‘Woman, give me a drink,’ you would fall at his feet and ask him to give you immortal drink.’”
(Chapter 15, page 221, P.A. Bien translation)

Q: This passage refers to the moment that Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, and he seemed to present himself as the Messiah. Are there other moments that point to Jesus understanding and accepting that he is the Messiah?

A: It would seem that Jesus now speaks with two voices, the voice of God and his own. Later the woman at the well asks him, “Can you be the One we’re waiting for?” and when the disciples appear before Jesus can answer her, he is “delighted to see them, for now he was saved from having to answer the woman’s terrible question”. The contradiction of him saying [ “if you knew who it was that says to you…” ] and later not wanting to tell her who he is, shows that the first voice was God’s and the last one was Jesus.

Posted by: Alexis Lebkey (Revise) at January 24, 2016 05:58 PM

Cheryl Nance
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
25 January 2016

“’My son,’ he said, ‘do not take the cares of others upon yourself. They will devour you.’” (Page 313, Chapter 21, P. A. Bien translation)

Question: This quote was spoken by Rabbi Simeon to Jesus as he was leaving Nazareth. How does this advice differ from what Simeon told Jesus at the monastery? Why do you think Simeon tried to guide him in a different direction?

Answer: In the monastery, Simeon tells Jesus it is time for him to speak to mankind. Jesus says he feel sorry for men, but is unsure of what to say. Simeon says “Rise up and speak to them. Your sorrows may then be multiplied, but theirs will be relieved” (153). After he sees how the people of Nazareth react to Jesus, Simeon contradicts his earlier words by warning Jesus that the burdens of others are too much for him. Simeon does this because he is not yet convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, and he wants to protect him from further harm. Jesus is at a crucial turning point. In the past, he would have been afraid and tempted to heed Simeon’s advice. Now, however, he boldly tells Simeon “’I have no cares of my own, Father. Let those of others devour me!’” (313). Jesus has accepted that he must sacrifice himself for mankind.

Posted by: Cheryl Nance at January 24, 2016 06:23 PM

Alexis Lebkey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG410 Global Comparative Literature CA01
24 January 2016

“An old man with a double hump like a camel’s lifted his caplet and cackled, ‘Vague words, the words you speak, son of the Carpenter, vague, groundless words. ‘Kingdom of heaven,’ ‘justice,’ ‘freedom,’ and ‘grab what you can, boys, it’s all for the taking.’ I’ve had enough! Miracles, miracles! I want you to do something here and now. Perform some miracles to make us believe in you. Otherwise, shut up!’”
(Chapter 21, page 307-308, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: This passage refers to the moment when Jesus went back to Nazareth and the people gathered to hear what he had to say but soon turned violent. Although Jesus brought them happy news, the people reacted with anger and suspicion. Why do the people react this way and would the people of today behave any differently?

Answer: It seems that there were many false prophets at that time so it would be natural to be suspicious as it would be difficult to know who to believe. In Chapter 18, one of the elders that Jesus met when he was staying with Mary and Martha asked him, “You’re another one of those Levites, are you? A Zealot? False prophet?” (272). Even the experienced elders have no way of knowing who to trust. The people of today would most likely react the same, most people would ask for proof as most do not believe something unless they see it with their own eyes.

Posted by: Alexis Lebkey at January 24, 2016 06:30 PM

Natalie Cassidy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
23 January 2016

“The people's ears buzzed, their minds reeled. There were words together with the beating of wings. The voice of God? The voice of the bird? It was a strange miracle… Jesus tensed his whole body, trying to hear. He had a presentiment that here was his true name, but he could not distinguish what it was. All he heard were many waves breaking within him, many wings, and great, bitter words. He raised his eyes. The bird had already bounded toward the summit of the heavens and become light within the light” (page 240, chapter 16, Bien translation).

Question: While John the Baptist is baptizing Jesus, a bird appears and reveals Jesus’ true name to John the Baptist. Why is it that only John the Baptist can understand what the bird says?

Answer: At the end of chapter 16 John the Baptist begins to baptize Jesus, but realizes that he does not know what name to call Jesus. This is when a bird descends from heaven and reveals the name to only John the Baptist. Due to John the Baptists’ extreme devotion to God, he is the only person who understands what the bird says. The time was not right for Jesus and the people to know who Jesus really was. Therefore, God trusted John the Baptists with the information. Even though John the Baptist does not feel worthy to baptize Jesus, God trusts him with crucial information due to his dedication to Christ.

Posted by: Natalie Cassidy at January 24, 2016 07:17 PM

Alyssa Barca
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet:Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
24 January 2016

"Were the doors of the future opening before him and enabling him to look in? He was not standing on soil but on clouds; and this young man who held out his hand and smiled was not the son of Mary, he was the Son of man!"(Kazantzakis 317)

Question: At the end of chapter 20, Jesus tells Simeon that He is indeed the Son of man. What do you think were the deciding factors for Simeon to believe that Jesus is the Son of God?

Answer: At first, Simeon was hesitant and skeptical to believe that Jesus was the Son of man just like everybody else. However, in chapter 20, Jesus reminds Simeon of his reoccurring dream about coming face-to-face with the Son of God someday. I believe this was the moment that Simeon finally believed Jesus. Kazantzakis illustrates this as, "'The Son of man,' answered the old rabbi, who had been nourishing himself on this dream for generations. 'You must be a happy man, Simeon, for God kept his word and deemed you worthy of seeing, before your death, what you longed to see all your life.'" (Kazantzakis 317) There was no way Jesus could have known about Simeons dream, or known his desire to face the Son of God before he dies if He wasnt the Messiah. Additionally, Jesus tells Simeon that He has been with him since the day He was born, and Simeon says that there is not enough room in his head to carry Jesus' spirit within him. Then, Jesus asks, "And your heart, Uncle Simeon?"(Kazantzakis 316) Moreover, Jesus is assuring him that He has lived in Simeons heart since his birth, and He has always been with him.

Posted by: Alyssa Barca at January 24, 2016 11:58 PM

Nicole Alvarez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature in Translation CA01
26 January 2016

“’Change your expression, strength your arms, make firm your heart. Your life is a heavy one. I see blood and thorns on your brow. Endure, my brother and superior, courage! Two roads open up in front of you: the road of man, which is level, and the road of God, which ascends. Take the more difficult road.’” (Kazantzakis Pg. 243, Ch. 17).

Question: John the Baptist advises Jesus on what to do once they part and go their separate ways. However, John the Baptist tells Jesus to take the harder of the two roads, but which is the harder road to travel? Is it the level road of man or the ascending road of God?

Answer: Deciding on which of the two roads that John the Baptist mentions is harder depends on one’s viewpoint and opinion. To take John’s words literally, then the harder road would be the one that ascends rather than the one that is level. However, looking at John’s advice from a metaphorical view the answer can change depending on how one reasons through the words. The road of God would lead Jesus to becoming the Savior that everyone has been looking for and who God intended him to be. The road of man is thus harder as Jesus wanted to become like ordinary men, which he tried to do earlier in the book as he endeavored to refuse God and God’s words.

Posted by: Nicole Alvarez at January 25, 2016 12:20 AM

-Revised-

Lauren Kilton

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation

22 January 2016

“My heart was angry; it incited me to cry: God is fire!—yes, just like your prophet the Baptist—God is fire, he’s coming! Men without law, without justice, without honor: where will you hide? He is coming! . . . That’s what my heart tried to make me shout, but you anointed my lips with honey, and instead, I cried, ‘Love! Love!’”
(Chapter 13, page 193, P. A. Bien translation)

Question: How does this passage exemplify Jesus’s inherent duality of God and man?

Answer: In this passage, Jesus alludes to the conventional proclamation of God’s will made by the Baptist and all other prophets who “sprouted up every day of the year” and seemed to attack “whatever was stable and good in this world” (184). Jesus identifies with them in terms of their message derived from human fear, anger, and judgment, as he is fully human and thus, his perspective is often clouded by such instincts. Furthermore, that which he knows to proclaim is based on his human experience living among men who tend to regard their own ideas of justice as those of God. However, as a result of being touched by God and given a piece of his substance, or nature, Jesus finds himself encouraging nothing but love for all.

Posted by: Lauren Kilton at January 25, 2016 12:30 AM

Lauren Kilton

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation

25 January 2016

“Below in the tiny village the lamps were lighted and the eyes of the people gleamed. This evening their everyday talk rose one degree higher than usual, for they sensed that God, like a kind lion, had entered their village.” (Ch. 22, P. 325, P. A. Bien Translation)

Question: This passage figuratively refers to God as a kind lion, and Jesus had previously compared himself to a lion in the novel. What is the significance of the metaphor with regard to the duality of man and God within Jesus?

Answer: Earlier in the novel, a lion appears to Jesus as a representation of his inner human self, which Jesus often neglects in his pursuit of God and the kingdom of Heaven. Jesus is inspired by God to love others, but the hungry lion inside his “heart grow[s] more and more ferocious” over time in dealing with the kingdom of “stones and soil and flesh” (261). Jesus was born into humanity and experiences all that his earthly brothers and sisters do, including frustration, though God empowers him to recognize and rise above his human struggle in order to lead others to salvation. It makes sense that the people in the village would sense the presence of a kind lion, as Jesus is merely an animal in the compassionate hands of God.

Posted by: Lauren Kilton at January 25, 2016 04:08 AM

Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
24 January 2016

“The Last Temptation of Christ” Ch. 19 pt. 2 Bien Translation

“Judas spat angrily and banged his fist on the door. ‘You damned stalwarts!’ he screamed at them. ‘As long as you believed him sickly and weak, you couldn’t get away fast enough. But now that you smell grandeur: ‘I shall never leave him!’ One day every single one of you will forsake him—mark my words—while I alone shall not betray him. Simon of Cyrene, be my witness’” (Kazantzakis 286)!

Question: What is the irony if Judas’s statement to the disciples? Is Judas more or less loyal to Jesus than the other disciples?

Answer: Judas’s statement is ironic because he has been trying to kill Jesus since they were together in the monastery. The only reason Judas has not killed Jesus is because he believes that Jesus might be the Messiah. He even told Jesus before they began their journey to the Jordan River that the brotherhood commissioned him to kill Jesus, but he held back because, “‘I don’t want to rush into this and kill the Savior; no, I don’t want that’” (Kazantzakis 205)! After Judas hypocritically scolds the disciples for only sticking with Jesus in case he was the Messiah, he and all the other disciples start to rush out the door when Caiaphas comes to town. While the other eleven disciples did not want to kill Jesus, they were just as willing as Judas to abandon Jesus for fear of Caiaphas. This makes them just as disloyal as Judas.

Posted by: Annie Hays at January 25, 2016 10:32 AM

Nicholas Santos
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
25 January 2016

“What a holy ceremony it is, he reflected, to arrange wood and light a fire on a cold day: the flame comes like a merciful sister to warm you. And to enter an alien house, hungry and tired, and to see two other sisters, strangers, come and comfort you … His eyes filled with tears” (Page 205 [PDF ver.], Chapter Eighteen, P.A. Bien Translation).

Question: Jesus, both in his journey through the desert and his arrival at the village of Bethany, is tested and reinvigorated. Do you see any correlations between Jesus’ journey in the desert to his arrival in the village, and if so, what are they? In addition, do you see any disconnections between the two? (Notice how Kazantzakis uses the word “reflected” in the above quote.)

Answer: There are many correlations between the desert and the village of Bethany. Jesus is comforted by Martha and Mary’s hospitality just as God comforted him during his journey in the desert. The hospitality that the sisters show him is representative of the oasis and pomegranate tree that Jesus stumbles upon, and the guidance of the sisters mirrors the lightning strikes in the darkness of the desert. Jesus also asks for guidance from both God and the sisters, and is granted comfort from both. When Jesus speaks his gratitude to the sisters (much like when Jesus speaks his gratitude for God), he is rewarded by both parties; God clears the storm, and the sisters help reaffirm Jesus’s place as the messiah.

There are also some disconnections between Jesus’ journey in the desert and his arrival in the village. The two locations represent different forces of help for Jesus; in the desert, a place of nature, Jesus is helped by God, who controls nature; and in the village, Jesus is helped by Martha and Mary, people who live there. There’s a dynamic between the two of these places that’s significant in that Jesus realizes that, in places without people, he will always be helped by God (such as when Kazantzakis described Jesus as being held up by “two invisible hands” (203)), and in places with people, those people will follow him and be hospitable towards him (he was respectfully taken care of even though he described himself as “a poorly dressed, unknown, barefooted guest” who “appeared at [Martha and Mary’s] door (205).” It can all be seen as an elaborate way of Kazantzakis illustrating Jesus overcoming his struggles of doubt.

Posted by: Nicholas Santos at January 25, 2016 10:54 AM

Amber Clidinst
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literature CA01
25 January 2016

Ch 21

“Jesus had now grown furious. ‘What are you laughing at,’ he shouted. ‘Why are you gathering stones to strike the son of man?’” (273)

Question: Although Jesus is the son of God, there is a great deal of discussion about his humanity in this novel. Although this quote comes directly after Jesus proclamation of God’s bestowing authority of him, how does the reference to his humanity affect the scene?

Answer: The reference, in this quote, to Jesus’s humanity reinforces the struggle of temptation that is being set in motion. Before Jesus arrives in this scene there is a sermon about the inner and outer struggles. Jesus reflects this sermon in his own speech when he arrives by discussing the destruction of the physical. However, when his message is not well received, Jesus reverts to a very human reaction of anger, and refers to himself as a man. This is yet another reminder, and set up for, Jesus’ coming temptation.

Posted by: Amber Clidinst at January 25, 2016 10:54 AM

Nicole Klukowski
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CAO 1
25 January 2016

“Suddenly it seemed to him in his sleep that he had come out of the Jordan, taken a green, untrodden path and entered a dense orchard full of blossoms and fruit. And it seemed he was no longer himself, Jesus of Nazareth, but rather Adam, the first man to be created.” (279, Chapter 15)

Question: Jesus has recently accepted his mission for man and set out on the road. When he stays the night at Lazarus’s house he dreams that he is Adam, the first man to be created. Why is the image of Jesus becoming Adam significant?

Answer: Adam was the first man to be created. He was directly made by the hands of God and, therefore, knew no sin. Adam was created perfect. Besides Jesus, Adam is the only man who can claim to have had no sin. Kazantzakis emphasizes the point that Jesus is a man with no sin, something that has been impossible since Adam. Jesus dreamed that “the desert sand was being removed from his body and the virtues and vices of mankind from his soul” leaving him completely blank and brand new (279). In this scene, Jesus is proven to be without sin.

Posted by: Nicole Klukowski at January 25, 2016 11:43 AM

Daniella Zacarias Kattán
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 CA01 Reading the Planet - Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
25 January 2016

“’What? Don’t you believ in the afterlife?’ said Peter severely.
‘I believe, Peter. Damn it, I believe – but not quite that much. . . .’” (Page 293 , Chapter 19, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: By the end of chapter 19, faith has been questioned by each of Jesus’s followers. Could it be argued that Judas is the most authentic of Jesus’s followers? How and why? Or why not?

Answer: So far in Kazantzakis’s novel, Judas seems to be the most authentic of Jesus’s followers; at the beginning of chapter while discussing the probability of Jesus being the Messiah, Judas says, “I didn’t see anything and I didn’t hear anything . . . Your eyes and ears were drunk. . . . And your lordship [referring to Peter], straw-beard, saw because you wanted to see. You had an appetite to see the Holy Spirit, so it was the Holy Spirit you saw” (287). The denial in Judas’s tone seems to be the most authentic of the followers retelling of Jesus’s baptism. Each of the follower’s retelling is slightly different and more exaggerated than the previous one. That is until Judas interrupts with his seemingly “lack” of faith. The Judas’s denial is proof of his genuine faith. Though Judas denies seeing anything special during the baptism, he does not deny the extraordinary nature of Jesus. Judas goes as far as to condemn the exaggerations as being lies for which the disciples will “. . . have to answer for the consequences” (287).

Posted by: Daniella Zacarias at January 25, 2016 12:23 PM

Seger Sipe
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
22 January 2016

“‘Why do you build crosses?’ he thundered finally.
The young man lowered his head. This was his secret— how could he reveal it? How could the blacksmith give credence to the dreams which God sent him, or to the voices he heard when he was all alone, or the talons which nailed themselves into the top of his head and wanted to lift him to heaven? (Chapter 11, page 345, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: This passage refers to the moment in which Judas is speaking to Jesus, trying to understand fully who the son of the Carpenter truly is as a person. Why does Judas challenge and make demands towards Jesus, and what is Jesus’s response to the blacksmith?

Answer: Seemingly, Judas is confused as to why Jesus is not frightened nor willing to fight for his life. Judas’s provocations do little to stir Jesus, and it proves to be upsetting because Judas tries to rationalize possibilities, even thinking “I wonder if it’s the devil who’s guiding him—or God?” (346). In response to Judas, Jesus tries to explain that his secret is pitying man and all of God’s creations. Jesus further explains that he does not fear death, stating, “Death is not a door which closes; it is a door which opens” (349). This statement alludes to Jesus being somewhat aware of his own fate, knowing what ultimate sacrifice he will have to make.

Posted by: Seger Sipe at January 25, 2016 12:49 PM

Leona Hunt
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Comparative Global Literatures
25 January 2016

“Do you remember when you were a small child still unable to walk, you clung to the door of your house and to your mother’s clothes so that you would not fall, and shouted within yourself, shouted loudly, ‘God, make me God! God, make me God! God, make me God!’”
“Don’t remind me of that shameless blasphemy. I remember it!”
(Chapter 17: The Last Temptation of Christ, page 201, par. 5-6, P.A. Bien Translation)
Question: At the end of chapter 17, Jesus encounters an Archangel that claims to be the voice that has echoed through him and kept him from mortal happiness. (a) After reading the above quotes, what is the irony of the Archangel choosing Jesus to be the Lord because of the statement, “God, make me God!”? (b)And does Jesus still struggle with the concept of blasphemy even in his adulthood?
Answer: (a)When Jesus asks to be made God as a child, the statement is practically profane; so, for Jesus to be chosen as the future cross-bearer, it is contradictive to what would be expected. The reason the Archangel chooses to protect Jesus becomes a conflict of satire, which is seen in the Archangel’s “mocking” responses, “What did you long for when you were a child? To become God. That is what you shall become!” (Kazantzakis 201). In the previous quote, the Archangel sounds like its chosen Jesus to become Lord as more of a punishment. (b) Furthermore, even when Jesus speaks with the Archangel, another blasphemous thought creeps into his mind when he cries “I am not a man, not an angel, not your slave, Adonai!” and “Make room for me to sit down!” (Kazantzakis 202). Jesus’s momentary rebellious thoughts, which make him sound as if he is entitled to holiness, reveals to the audience that he is afflicted by human fallacies and suffers to control his sacrilegious tendencies. The chapter emphasizes Kazantzakis’s very self-tortured, flawed character portrayal of Jesus; the conversation shows that Jesus was not perfect from birth and continues to struggle with the sins of men while he ages.

Posted by: Leona Hunt at January 25, 2016 01:00 PM

Erin Gaylord
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
25 January 2016

“'Judas, my brother,’ he said, ‘look: what am I holding?’ Judas strained his neck in the half light in order to see. ‘Nothing,’ he answered. ‘I don’t see anything.’ ‘You will see it shortly,’ said Jesus smiling. ‘The kingdom of heaven,’ said Andrew [ . . . ] ‘Rabbi, he shouted, ‘I saw! I saw! You’re holding the Baptist’s ax!’ (Ch. 20, Pg. 298)”

Question: Why can’t Jesus’s fellow “angels on earth” see what Jesus is holding (Ch. 20, Pg. 300)? What changes is in Jacob that makes him able to see what Jesus is holding? What does the ax represent?

Answer: Jesus’s brothers cannot see the Baptist’s ax in Jesus’s hands because they are not fully believing him. When they submit to Jesus and try to see and believe that he is holding something they are able to see it. This is much like religion as a whole. Those who do not have faith, do not see what is waiting for them in the afterlife. Those who believe, know what is coming to them and understand why things happen to them. The ax represents the rotten tree that Jesus is to cut down to get rid of all of the corruption and sin in the world.

Posted by: Erin Gaylord at January 25, 2016 01:03 PM

Seger Sipe
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
25 January 2016


“But Jesus stopped. Matthew standing outside the shed, was holding his quill pen between his teeth. He breathed rapidly, not knowing what to do” (Chapter 21, page 698, P.A. Bien translation).

Question: This passage refers to the moment in which Jesus encounters Matthew, a tax-collector. What does Matthew think of Jesus? Why is Jesus’s acknowledgement towards Matthew surprising to the people of Nazarene?

Answer: Matthew is inquisitive about Jesus, wanting “a close view of the new prophet who proclaimed that all men were brothers” (698). Having notoriety as a publican in Nazarene, Matthew believes that Jesus may be kind and accepting towards him. When Jesus approaches Matthew, the publican is ashamed and unsure of how to respond, but when Jesus greets Matthew by name and offers his hand, Matthew is reassured. The people of Nazarene are surprised by Jesus acknowledging Matthew because the scripture states, “It is our duty to pay tax only to God, not to men” (698). The old rabbi points out to Jesus that is a sin to associate with a publican, and must abide by the Law. Jesus replies, “I listen to my own heart” (700). Jesus continues to challenge traditional beliefs by arguing the importance of love and acceptance, recognizing that humans are capable of not only committing sin but achieving redemption.

Posted by: Seger Sipe at January 25, 2016 01:03 PM

Giuseppe Donnian
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410
25 January 2016

"“He was troubled. Was it his duty to stay here in this cannibalistic city, to climb upon the roof of the Temple and shout, “Repent, the day of the Lord has come”? These unfortunate, panting people who ran up and down the streets had more need of repentance and comforting than the serene fishermen and plowmen of Galilee.” (Chapter 20, second page, 5th paragraph)

The quote provided encapsulates Jesus' struggle with morality. How is this quote important to the theme of the novel?

Nikos Kazantzakis' The Last Temptation of Christ takes a different view on Jesus than that of the Bible. Instead depicting Jesus as a God Kazantzakis focuses on Jesus' humanity. Jesus as a human has many uncertainties and temptations that make him feel guilty. This quote helps to show one of his many uncertainties in the morality of his decisions.

Posted by: Giuseppe Donnian at January 25, 2016 01:10 PM

Marie Umholtz
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 - Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
25 January 2016
Repost: Chapter 2

“The young man could now see the redbeard’s course, unstable face more clearly. It was not one, but two. When one half laughed the other threatened, when one half was in pain the other remained stiff and immobile; and even when both halves became reconciled for an instant, beneath the reconciliation you still felt that God and the devil were wrestling irreconcilable.” (Chapter 2, page 16, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: Here, the author describes Judas’ twofaced, conflicting qualities. How does Judas’ appearance reflect Jesus’ inner turmoil, and what role does Judas play in Jesus’ fear and guilt?

Answer: Kazantzakis uses imagery of conflict throughout the chapter, and Jesus himself feels torn and confused; when Judas sees that Jesus appears physically worn, Jesus generally tells him that he is “‘wrestling,’” though he truly feels he is struggling against God (21). Judas’ dual quality resembles Jesus’ inner confusion and conflict, as he wonders, “‘Who can tell them [God and the devil] apart? They exchange faces; God sometimes becomes all darkness, the devil all light, and the mind of man is left in a muddle.’ He shuddered. There were two paths. Which way should he go, which path should he choose?” (15). Beyond Judas’ dual expression, he also incites fear and pride in Jesus, as Kazantzakis explains, “He feared this man and did not want him to come, for deep within him was an old wound which would not close. . . . He was ashamed, afraid. . . . he spun in his mind how one day he would wash away his shame, prove he was better than they were, surpass them all. And after so many years, the wound had never closed” (15). Since a young age, Judas has physically and verbally abused Jesus and hurts his pride as well. Just as Jesus wrestles with his mental and spiritual turmoil, Judas is also an external reminder of Jesus’ guilt. Jesus repeatedly blames himself for the other’s misfortunes around him; Judas belittles and intimidates Jesus, boldly accuses him, and further encourages Jesus’ guilty conscience. In his dialogue with Judas, Jesus must confront the truth of his sacrificial destiny, which he has not yet accepted.

Posted by: Marie Umholtz at January 25, 2016 01:20 PM

Marie Umholtz
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 - Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
25 January 2016
“[Jesus] looked all around him, but God was nowhere. ‘“I hate, I despise your festivities, I am nauseous from the stench of the fatted calves you slaughter for me. Take away from me the tumult of your psalms and your lutes.”’ It was no longer the prophet, nor God, but the heart of Jesus which was upside down and crying out. Suddenly he fell faint.” (Chapter 16, page 233, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: Here, Jesus enters the Temple’s courtyard, and is disgusted with its chaotic, irreverent atmosphere. How has Kazantzakis illustrated Jesus’ compliance with God’s will here? How does this differ from his previous struggle between his desires and God’s desires?

Answer: Kazantzakis points out that Jesus’ disgust is not imposed on him, but that his response to the irreverent behavior is entirely his own. Previously, he felt God guide him externally and unpleasantly, as he used to feel “ten claws” latch onto his head; Kazantzakis explains, “At every opportunity he had to be happy, to taste the simplest human joys—to eat sleep, to mix with his friends and laugh, to encounter a girl on the street and think, I like her—the ten claws immediately nailed themselves down into him, and his desire vanished” (27). Jesus feels torn, and confronting God’s will is a negative experience and painful truth. However, he feels freedom and happiness once he accepts God’s plan, and his entire outlook changes, as Kazantzakis explains, “Perhaps God’s laws had clutched him all those years precisely in order to bring him where he was now going of his own volition, free of the claws. Did this mean that his desires were beginning to join with those of God? Wasn’t this the greatest and most difficult of man’s duties? Wasn’t this the meaning of happiness?” (67). Kazantzakis expresses that submitting to God’s will is a difficult, yet rewarding undertaking. Once Jesus’ actions and choices reflect his acceptance of God’s will, he feels relief, and internalizes God’s desires within his own heart. At the Temple, he becomes overwhelmed, and feels that God is absent. This contrasts with his previous negativity toward God; he now relishes God’s presence, and his desires conform to God’s plan.

Posted by: Marie Umholtz at January 25, 2016 01:21 PM

Jonah Robertson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading The Planet – Comparative Global Literature in Translation
1/25/16

Question:
What archetype from the Hero’s Journey can Simon of Cyrene be classified as in chapter 16?

Answer:
When reading chapter 16 one could potentially assign a couple different archetypes to Simon. However, the one which might be argued for the most is the Trickster. Simon, after being baptized, discusses with Judas what Judas may and may not do. Simon is horrified by Judas being unable to enjoy earthly pleasures like alcohol and human contact. He also jokes about his baptism, mentioning that he left a film of oil on the water (178-179). These two portions of dialogue serve the role of the Trickster in that they both give comedic effect, and Simon is attempting to make Judas question his beliefs. One of the Trickster’s roles is to cause a character to waver in their beliefs, or at least consider it, and Simon is very clearly attempting to corrupt Judas.

Posted by: Jonah Robertson at January 25, 2016 01:45 PM

Jacie Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature
25 January 2016

Last Temptation of Christ Ch. 22 part 3

“’If you want me to believe in you,’ shouted a man with crutches, ‘preform a miracle and heal me. Shall I enter the kingdom of heaven lame?’
‘and I leprous?’
‘and I with only one arm?’
‘and I blind?’
The cripples moved forward in one body and stood threateningly in front of him” (Chapter 3: Kazantzakis, page 332, par. 39, Bien Translation).

Question: Jesus refuses to heal anyone in the gathering that surrounds him. However, Jesus has been known to heal others. Even though the crowd becomes hostile when Jesus doesn’t comply, are they really in the wrong? Jesus is choosy in who he heals, getting the hopes up of the masses. Who is really to blame?

Answer: After entering into Mary’s poor house (329), Jesus is informed, by Peter, of the coming people (330). Jesus could sense the mood “[i]n the turbulent air of the squall which was coming” and “perceived a multitude of half-opened mouths full of longing, and of eyes which were gazing at him with anguish” (330). These are desperate, needy, hopeless people; the kind Jesus goes for. They are starving and suffering, wanting some kind of deliverance and peace. Why would Jesus withhold that from them? Just because they get a bit too mouthy, Jesus decides to stick his nose up at them and refuses to heal anyone. Is this not what Jesus was sent here for: to deliver, save, and free? Yes, one of the villagers says “cure us, or you won’t leave our village alive!” (332), but Jesus knows these people won’t kill him. It is not yet his time, so his anger seems unfounded. Jesus lets the loud ones, the ones that push their way to the front and vocalize their thoughts, speak for the entire group which isn’t fair to the rest. There could be a sickly, humble person in the back deserving of Christ’s healing. Jesus seems very inconsistent throughout the story with various mood swings and attitude issues. I think that the people present were desperate and their actions reflected as much. Jesus should have had compassion on them and their suffering and at least healed a few. However, we can also say that since Jesus is God, we cannot understand the reasoning of God and that his actions are excusable. Although, that also feels like a copout.
q

Posted by: Jacie Dieffenwierth at January 25, 2016 06:50 PM

Jacie Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature
25 January 2016

Last Temptation of Christ Ch. 22 part 3

“’If you want me to believe in you,’ shouted a man with crutches, ‘preform a miracle and heal me. Shall I enter the kingdom of heaven lame?’
‘and I leprous?’
‘and I with only one arm?’
‘and I blind?’
The cripples moved forward in one body and stood threateningly in front of him” (Chapter 3: Kazantzakis, page 332, par. 39, Bien Translation).

Question: Jesus refuses to heal anyone in the gathering that surrounds him. However, Jesus has been known to heal others. Even though the crowd becomes hostile when Jesus doesn’t comply, are they really in the wrong? Jesus is choosy in who he heals, getting the hopes up of the masses. Who is really to blame?

Answer: After entering into Mary’s poor house (329), Jesus is informed, by Peter, of the coming people (330). Jesus could sense the mood “[i]n the turbulent air of the squall which was coming” and “perceived a multitude of half-opened mouths full of longing, and of eyes which were gazing at him with anguish” (330). These are desperate, needy, hopeless people; the kind Jesus goes for. They are starving and suffering, wanting some kind of deliverance and peace. Why would Jesus withhold that from them? Just because they get a bit too mouthy, Jesus decides to stick his nose up at them and refuses to heal anyone. Is this not what Jesus was sent here for: to deliver, save, and free? Yes, one of the villagers says “cure us, or you won’t leave our village alive!” (332), but Jesus knows these people won’t kill him. It is not yet his time, so his anger seems unfounded. Jesus lets the loud ones, the ones that push their way to the front and vocalize their thoughts, speak for the entire group which isn’t fair to the rest. There could be a sickly, humble person in the back deserving of Christ’s healing. Jesus seems very inconsistent throughout the story with various mood swings and attitude issues. I think that the people present were desperate and their actions reflected as much. Jesus should have had compassion on them and their suffering and at least healed a few. However, we can also say that since Jesus is God, we cannot understand the reasoning of God and that his actions are excusable. Although, that also feels like a copout.
q

Posted by: Jacie Dieffenwierth at January 25, 2016 06:50 PM

Natalie Cassidy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
25 January 2016

“This was the sign he had been waiting for. The hopelessly rotted world was a Lazarus. The time had come for him to cry out, ‘World, arise!’ He had the obligation; and most frightening of all, as he now realized, he also had the strength. It was no longer possible for him to escape by saying, I am unable! He was able, and if the world failed to be saved, the entire sin must fall on him” (page 372, chapter 25, Bien translation).

Question: In chapter 25 Jesus raises Lazarus from the grave after he had been dead for four days. Why is it that this particular instance causes Jesus to realize that the sin of the world must fall on him?

Answer: At this point in the novel Jesus had performed many miracles, but nothing to this extreme. It is clear that by raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus realizes that he is no longer able “to escape by saying, I am unable” (page 372, chapter 25, Bien translation). Although Jesus was shocked by his power, this moment allowed him to understand how powerful he truly is. Jesus states, “the hopelessly rotted world was a Lazarus” (page 372, chapter 25, Bien translation). In other words, the world needs to be raised from the dead and change its ways. Lazarus allows Jesus to recognize his position by revealing just how powerful he truly is.

Posted by: Natalie Cassidy at January 25, 2016 09:49 PM

Nicholas Santos
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
27 January 2016

“’Jesus of Nazareth, to you I owe all the joy of my life,’ Rufus answered. ‘Speak. What I can, I’ll do.’

‘If they seize me, if they put me in prison, if they kill me—do nothing to save me. Will you give me your word?’

[…]

‘Is what you ask of me a favor?’ said Rufus, astonished. ‘I don’t understand you Jews’” (Page 291 [PDF ver.], Chapter Twenty-Six, P.A. Bien Translation).

Question: Explain the underlying conflict between Rufus and Jesus in this passage. How is the way Rufus responds to Jesus’ request significant?

Answer: Rufus, a centurion in the Roman army, is conflicted in the fact that he shows and feels respect towards Jesus despite the fact that the empire he fights for sees the concept of heaven as a “fairy tale” (290). Rufus openly objects to Jesus’ people, the Jews, calling them “dogs (290),” and defines his people with masculine traits (he says that his people “are made to govern men, and men are not governed by love (290),” with love being a feminine trait). Despite all of this, however, he still shows some respect towards Jesus. When Jesus asks Rufus not to save him if the situation calls for his death, Rufus does not answer Jesus; he instead only “nodded to the Negroes (291)” in front of him to let Jesus into the tower of Pontius Pilate. He also shows some sort of nervous sarcasm when he acts “astonished (291)” at what Jesus asked of him, stating that he doesn’t understand Jews. Why would Jesus, a man who faces prosecution from Rufus’ people, be asked by a Roman not to save him? It goes against everything Rufus thought about Jews, and in this moment, Rufus appears to question his own beliefs.

Posted by: Nicholas Santos at January 26, 2016 12:14 PM

Jacie Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature
27 January 2016

Last Temptation of Christ: Chapter 24 part 3

“’I know that I send you as lambs among wolves,’ said he. ‘They will revile you, stone you and call you immoral because you make war on immorality; they will slander you, saying you want to abolish faith, family and fatherland because our faith is purer, our house wider and or fatherland the whole world! Gird yourselves well, comrades. Say good to bread, joy and serenity. We are going to war!’” (Chapter 24: Kazanatzakis, page 267, par. 70 , pdf translation).

Question: Why do the people attack the three apostles when they come bearing only words?

Answer: It is their vary words, however, that can be seen as hostile. As Peter informed everyone, the people they spoke to said that the disciples brought “the ruin of the world” (par. 68). Christ’s teachings are not something easy to follow. It speaks of denying self, giving up everything you have, and following Christ. He refutes the old law for the new. He changes everything they thought they knew about religion for something else. It is not easily or readily received. No one wants to hear of their sins and shortcomings and the death that awaits. The people acted out of fear and could have easily killed the disciples; anything to keep from hearing this message of damnation.

Posted by: Jacie Dieffenwierth at January 27, 2016 03:36 AM

Nicole Klukowski
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CAO 1
27 January 2016

“’No, John, beloved,’ Jesus answered, ‘not a knife--a cross.’
The disciples gazed at each other, disturbed.
‘A cross!’ John exclaimed, falling on Jesus’ breast. ‘Rabbi, who is being crucified?’
‘Whoever leans over those eyes and looks in will see his face on the cross. I looked, and I saw my face.’” (414, Chapter 27)

Question: John asks Jesus in the presence of the other disciples why Jesus keeps Judas close at all times. John claims that when he looks into Judas’ eyes, he sees a knife. This claim leads him to believe that Judas should not remain close to Jesus. Jesus tells John that it is not a knife in his eyes but a cross. How is this significant? Why does Jesus keep Judas around?

Answer: Jesus seeing a cross in Judas’ eyes is foreshadowing what will come. Judas will bring the cross to Jesus and betray him. John recognizes Judas is a danger. Jesus looks into Judas’ eyes and sees his face on a cross. Jesus understands what is to come, but the disciples do not (414). Some of the disciples laugh at Jesus’ words. Thomas particularly mocks him saying, “It’s a good thing you told us rabbi. As for me, I won’t look into the redbeard’s eyes as long as I live.” (414). This section shows Jesus is all-knowing. He knows what will happen to him because of Judas, and he knows what will happen to Thomas’ children and grandchildren (415).

Posted by: Nicole Klukowski at January 27, 2016 09:31 AM

Lauren Kilton

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation

27 January 2016

“Why are you afraid of Death? He is the most merciful of God’s archangels, the one who loves man the most. It is necessary that I be martyred and crucified, and that I descend to hell. But in three days I shall jolt out of my tomb, ascend to heaven and sit next to the Father.” (Ch. 28, P. 426, P. A. Bien Translation)

Question: How does this passage reflect the way in which death is perceived by Jesus and the followers of his faith?

Answer: Jesus personifies death and various other concepts, such as truth, when he speaks of the transcendent heavens. His perspective is similar to that of the ancient Greeks, who attributed natural phenomena to multiple Gods, though Jesus believes in one God and several lesser angels and spirits. Death is a sensitive subject for humanity, as it is the most certain and mysterious event in one’s life, yet Jesus is convinced of its truth and importance. Many of his followers are content with anything as long as it is God’s will, but others look toward death with hatred, fear, and confusion. Jesus attempts to reverse their negative sentiment by encouraging them to “bear it with love, patience and faith” (428). He promotes the idea of God’s plan for humanity, which sometimes entails crucifixion of the spirit on earth and salvation in the afterlife.

Posted by: Lauren Kilton at January 27, 2016 10:56 AM

Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
27 January 2016

“The Last Temptation of Christ” Ch. 23 pt. 3 Bien Translation

“‘ It’s not true! I don’t want to write, and I won’t!’ Mocking laughter was heard in the air, and a voice: ‘How can you understand what truth is, you handful of dust? Truth has seven levels. On the highest is enthroned the truth of God, which bears not the slightest resemblance to the truth of men’” (Kazantzakis 349).

Question: Is the angel telling the truth to Matthew? Is it more important that Jesus fit the prophesies of the Old Testament than be presented as he truly is?

Answer: It is clear by this point in the story that Jesus is the Son of God. He has performed miracles to heal the sick on his own, which only God or his son could do (Kazantzakis 348). However, he also says he is the “Son of Man,” and “our father is God, our mother is Earth,” meaning that Jesus is also human and everyone’s father is God (317, 46). The important thing is that Jesus has come to fulfill the prophesies of the Old Testament as he does tell Simeon that he is the Messiah (316-7). In order to prove this to the Jewish people, he must appear to fulfill all of their ancient prophesies or the people will not believe in him. God’s truth that the angel talks about is that Jesus is the Messiah, but he has to fit into the narrative that the prophets created, so what is written about him must match that description.

Posted by: Annie Hays at January 27, 2016 11:04 AM

Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature in Translation CA01
27 January 2016

No matter where you touched this God, he bellowed. If you said a kind word to him he lifted his fist and shouted, “I want meat.” If you offered a lamb or your firstborn son as a sacrifice, he screamed, “I don’t want meat. Do not rend your clothes; rend your hearts. Turn your flesh into spirit, your spirit into prayer, and scatter it to the winds! (Kazantzakis 278, chapter 25, Bien translation)

Question: The Last Temptation of Christ is a controversial novel; it was banned by the Catholic Church and caused the Greek Orthodox Church to excommunicate the author. Is Kazantzakis criticizing God and Jesus?

Answer: Kazantzakis did not seek to criticize God or in any way undermine Christianity. In fact, Kazantzakis shows a deep respect for Scripture and uses direct references from the Bible: the “seven devils” of Magdalene (“Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had come out” [The Holy Bible, New International Version, Luke 8:2]), the “Curse” that follows Jesus (“The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be [...] out of the serpent's reach” [The Holy Bible, New International Version, Revelation 12:14]), and the temptation in the desert (“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil” [The Holy Bible, New International Version, Luke 4:2]). Kazantzakis’s masterful use of these passages shows his total and complete knowledge of Christian lore. That being said, Kazantzakis does take many liberties within the text. He reinterprets the wise men’s visitation to Mary as a dream, invents a story in which Jesus was almost engaged to Magdalene, and writes Jesus as rejecting his role as the Messiah.

Kazantzakis was responding to the dualities present within the Christian tradition. Christianity believes both the Old Testament and New Testament are valid, but the version of God in each of these texts is wildly different. As shown in the passage above, Old Testament God is vengeful, fierce, and demands sacrifice: “If you said a kind word to him he lifted his fist and shouted, ‘I want meat’” (Kazantzakis 278, chapter 25, Bien translation). New Testament God, on the other hand, is merciful, loving, and asks for devotion: “Do not rend your clothes; rend your hearts. Turn your flesh into spirit, your spirit into prayer, and scatter it to the winds” (Kazantzakis 278, chapter 25, Bien translation). How can God be both of these things? In The Last Temptation, Jesus’ character goes from loving to vengeful as well. Since he is the divine Son of God, he reflects God’s dualistic nature. While the above passage at first seems like it is criticizing God, in reality it is showing that there are two very different versions of God present within the Bible. To portray God as only being one of these things would be akin to ignoring half of Scripture.

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of The Last Temptation of Christ is how Kazantzakis portrays Jesus as fearful and easily tempted. Kazantzakis’s Jesus rejects his role as the Messiah and actively tries to avoid God by marrying Magdalene. While this can be seen as highly controversial, even heretical, Kazantzakis is once again showing the duality present in the Bible. Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. However, most interpretations of Jesus have focused solely on his divinity. Kazantzakis emphasizes the human side of Jesus which is usually ignored. Since Jesus is a man, Kazantzakis shows him as having the same desires as men: to be married, to have sex, to raise children. Instead of being heretical, Kazantzakis’s choices make Jesus’s sacrifice that much greater; he gives up a life on Earth that he wanted and could have had for the sake of humanity. Kazantzakis is not trying to criticize the Bible; he is trying to reconcile the opposites present within it.

Works Cited: The Holy Bible, New International Version.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at January 27, 2016 11:18 AM

Giuseppe Donnian
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410
27 January 2016

"Judas bowed his head. After a moment he asked, "If you had to betray your master, would you do it?" Jesus reflected for a long time. Finally he said, "No, I do not think I would be able to. That is why God pitied me and gave me the easier task: to be crucified." (Chapter 28)

How is this quote a sort of commentary toward the novel's theme?

This quote shows that Jesus believes it is an easier fate to be crucified and deal with physical pain instead of the psychological pain of guilt. This quote encapsulates Jesus's struggle with temptation throughout the novel. Jesus finds it easier to sacrifice himself on the cross that to have to deal with betraying God.

Posted by: Giuseppe Donnian at January 27, 2016 12:08 PM

Seger Sipe
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
27 January 2016

“Love! Love! ...What love, clairvoyant? Whom to love? The world has gangrene and needs the knife—that’s what I say!" (Chapter 24, page 780, P.A. Bien translation).

Question: This passage refers to Judas' thoughts when Judas struggles to accept Jesus’ words on love and acceptance. In what way does Jesus act loving and accepting? What are the outcomes of his actions?

Answer: When Jesus travels to the village of Capernaum, he comforts the villagers with hope by reassuring them of how heaven’s splendor is surer than earth. In Capernaum, Zebedee was an individual who found that “Jesus’ words penetrated him, lightly inebriating his mind. This world thinned out and over his head hovered a new world made of eternity and imperishable wealth” (778). The outcomes of Jesus’ words and actions effectively bring about positive change. When Zebedee later encounters uninvited guests in his house, he does not argue about it but instead believes “the recompense would come” (779). As for Jesus’ disciples, they scatter to other villages to “try their wings” (779). The disciples meet with farmers, fishermen, and shepherds, proclaiming the word of God and helping Jesus’ message to spread.

Posted by: Seger Sipe at January 27, 2016 12:43 PM

Leona Hunt
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet - Comparative Global Literature
27 January 2016

“Exactly at that moment a nightingale appeared and perched in a small young cypress opposite of him. It swelled its throat and began to sing. It had become drunk from the immense moon, the vernal perfumes, the damp warm night. Inside it was an omnipotent God, the same God that created heaven, earth, and the souls of men. Jesus lifted his head and listened intently.” (Chapter 28 (Part 3): The Last Temptation of Christ, page 332, par. 10, P.A. Bien Translation)

Question: In the novel, Kazantzakis often uses birds as symbols to communicate to Jesus. What is the significance of the nightingale appearing to Jesus right before he is approached by the soldiers and the Levites

Answer: There have been several instances when birds have been used to communicate to Jesus. When Jesus was baptized by John, a wild dove was seen that exclaimed that the son of God had appeared and it carried the message to everyone around it (Kazantzakis 187). In this instance, a nightingale greets Jesus that “bounded up from the very depths of his soul and it too began to hymn the eternal pains and joys: God, love, hope …” (Kazantzakis 333). The previous quote is an example of how winged-creatures are often a symbol to remind Jesus of his spirituality, and how he connects their voices to representing the goodness of God. As the scene continues, the nightingale ends up becoming a parallel to what Jesus must do next, which is to stay in place. Jesus notes that “the nightingale became entangled in the flowering branches and could not, did not, wish to flee ever again” (Kazantzakis 333), and the nightingale’s decision to resign itself to its capture foreshadows what Jesus must do at the end of the chapter. At the end, Jesus allows himself to be taken by the Levites without putting up a fight or letting his disciples (particularly Peter) rebel for him (Kazantzakis 333). Jesus acts like the nightingale and accepts his fate where he has landed.

Posted by: Leona Hunt at January 27, 2016 01:04 PM

Marie Umholtz
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 - Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
27 January 2016
“Two or three routes stretched before him [Simeon], and he did not know which to take. Why had he set out and come? To reveal his vision about Jesus. But if this vision was not from God? The rabbi knew very well that the Tempter could take on God’s face in order to delude men. If he disclosed what he had seen to Jesus, the demon of arrogance might take possession of his soul, and then he would be lost and he, the rabbi, would have to answer for it.” (Chapter 24, page 358, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: Here, the author reveals Simeon’s inner struggle as he tries to discern the origin of his vision, in which he saw Jesus in glory with Elijah and Moses. Why does Simeon doubt the vision is from God, and debates whether to tell Jesus about it?

Answer: Simeon is well-versed in biblical and vision translations, as he “had been opening the Scriptures for many years; for many years he had breathed in the breath of Jehovah. He had learned how to find God’s hidden meaning behind the visible and the invisible—and now he understood” (357). While he understands the meaning of the vision, he wonders if it truly comes from the devil, intended to corrupt Jesus (358). Simeon questions whether Jesus is following the right path as well; even if he only comes to aid Jesus, and not tell him about the vision, he fears he is supporting a wrong cause. Jesus’ teachings diverge from the current law, and Simeon wonders if Jesus’ revolutionary ideals are wrong (358). When Jesus says to Simeon, “‘if you know what you are doing, may joy descend upon you; if you know not, may you be cursed, for you transgress the Law’” (359), Jesus reiterates Simeon’s fear. Simeon feels he cannot take any course of action unless he knows he is following God’s direction. Because Jesus breaks from the original image of the Messiah, Simeon questions whether supporting him transcends the Law, or gravely breaks it.

Posted by: Marie Umholtz at January 27, 2016 01:18 PM

Nicole Alvarez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature in Translation CA01
27 January 2016

“Judas rolled on ahead, bellowing. Within him was an earthquake: everything falling away. He had no faith in death – that seemed to him the worst road of all; resurrected Lazarus, who appeared to him deader and filthier than all the dead, made him nauseous; and the Messiah himself – how could he possibly manage in this fight with Charon? . . . No, no, Judas had no faith in death as a way.” (Kazantzakis Pg. 388, Ch. 26).

Question: While expressing his disgust in Lazarus and his mistrust of the road that Jesus was taking, Judas references to Charon who is a Greek/Roman deity for ferrying the dead to the Underworld. How does Judas’ thoughts reflect what the reader already knows about his character?

Answer: Judas’ thoughts show his growing unfaithfulness towards Jesus and God. His disgust in Lazarus and his reference to what would be a pagan deity reflect this growing sentiment in him. It would seem that Kazantzakis wrote these thoughts to reinforce Judas’ eventual act of betraying Jesus and create a solid motive for him in why he does so.

Posted by: Nicole Alvarez at January 27, 2016 01:38 PM

Amber Clidinst
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literature CA01
27 January 2016

Ch 29

“If you believe in God, Simon, my brother,” he said, “quiet down and tell us what happened: how and when and where; and if the teacher spoke.
“He certainly did speak!” Simon answered. “’Damn you to hell, disciples!’ – that’s what he said. Well – write! Why are you looking at me? Grab your pen and write ‘Damn you to hell!’”
Lamentations arose from behind the barrels. John was rolling on the ground and screeching, and Peter was beating his head against a wall.
“If you believe in God, Simon,” Matthew begged him again, “tell the truth so I can write it down. Can’t you understand that at this moment the future of the whole world depends on what you say?” (338-9)

Question: There seems to be some play in this passage about the difference between oral and written tradition. Why is the distinction between these forms of information important to the story?

Answer: Traditionally, oral literature is considered a purer and more honest form of information as it comes straight from the author’s mouth, however, written literature is more trustworthy and timeless because it is able to be references multiple times. In the case of this scene, Matthew is asking for truth, however he will only record things he believes are true or things he believes is worthy of being passed down, which excludes anything exceptionally harmful about the disciples. I feel like this insight of one of the disciple’s minds is meant to point out that everything known about Jesus, and religion, is based completely upon a few written accounts, and that everything pure, from spoken history, is lost in translation. Although written text can be referred to on multiple occasions, it is not necessarily more trustworthy than spoken literature.

Posted by: Amber Cldinst at January 27, 2016 04:39 PM

Natalie Cassidy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
27 January 2016

“The angel laughed. ‘Alone, you cannot find God. Two persons are needed, a man and a woman. You didn’t know that-I taught it to you; and thus, after so many years of seeking God, you finally found him-when you joined Mary. And now you sit in the darkness, you listen to him laugh and cry, and you rejoice.’” (Chapter 31, page 464, Bien translation).

In chapter 31, Jesus joins Mary and Martha in their home. Jesus and Mary have a child, and Jesus becomes overjoyed listening to their son play. The angel says that Jesus finally found God, “and now you sit in the darkness, you listen to him laugh and cry, and you rejoice” (Chapter 31, page 464, Bien translation). When the angel says this, he is referring to Jesus’s child as God. It is interesting to think that throughout the entire book, Jesus believed that God was tormenting his mind, yet now God is being compared to a small innocent child. The interpretation of God throughout the book changes dramatically.


Posted by: Natalie Cassidy at January 27, 2016 07:04 PM

Alyssa Barca
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
27 January 2015

"The night before, it seemed she dreamed of him as a flying fish which opened its fins, jolted out of the water and fell onto the land. It flapped spasmodically on the pebbles of the beach, struggling in vain to open its fins once more. Suffocating, its eyes began to grow dim. It turned and looked at her, and she all but perished in an effort to grasp it and replace it in the ocean. When she bent down and took it in her hand, however, it was dead. But all the time she held it, lamenting and bathing it in her tears, it grew, filled her embrace and became a dead man." (Kazantzakis 374)

Question: In chapter 25, Mary is recalling a dream that she had the night before. How does Mary's dream about the fish symbolize the life of Jesus?

Answer: Mary's dream directly correlates with the life of Jesus starting with the fact that this was a flying fish who had just fallen onto the beach. When reading that first line, I made the connection of Jesus essentially falling from God onto Earth and the flying fish falling onto the pebbles. When Mary says that the fish was "flapping spasmodically" on the pebbles of the beach, it reminded me of one of the first scenes when Jesus woke up on the pile of wood shavings abruptly thinking he was struck by the Morning Star. Additionally, the fact that the fish was struggling to open its wings and fly connects with the struggles that Jesus has had to face when dealing with society. Later in the dream when Mary recalls how she couldn't save the fish, and the dead fish turned into a dead man, this is undoubtedly a symbol of the inevitable.

Posted by: Alyssa Barca at January 27, 2016 07:46 PM

Jacie Dieffenwierth, Rachel Andrews
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature
27 January 2016

Group 9: Group Work

“The son of Mary sighed. ‘I don’t know, I don’t know,’ he murmured. ‘It may be God, but it may be the…’ he hesitated. He was so frightened, the word stuck in his throat . What if he were truly being sent by the devil.” (Chapter: 9, Kazantzakis, page 121, par. 28, Bien Translation)

The conflict of this chapter is Jesus vs Destiny. Jesus questions his destination, his path, his choices, his life in general, and his tormentor, who it is that sends him on this mission. The narrator says,“[i]t was his own fault; not God’s, not men’s, but his own. Why did he behave so cowardly, why did he choose a road to follow and then lack the courage to pursue it to its end?” which gives us more insight on Jesus’s inner turmoil (Chapter: 9, Kazantzakis, page 126, par. 70, Bien Translation). An ongoing theme of “The Last Temptation of Christ” is responsibility. Jesus is constantly running away from his own responsibility of being the Messiah and then putting the responsibility of everything that goes wrong in his life on God.

Posted by: Jacie Dieffenwierth at January 27, 2016 09:20 PM

Alyssa Barca
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
27 January 2016

"How can the world be saved by you, Master Lazarus? What uplifted example do you offer the world to make it follow you? With you, will it surpass its own nature, will its soul sprout wings? " (Kazantzakis 478)

Question: In chapter 32, Paul scornfully questions Jesus how he is going to impact the world. What is the irony of this powerful quote? How does it relate to the way people still view modern day religion?

Answer: Paul asked Jesus these intense questions in a mocking and sarcastic tone. However, Paul's questions will be answered when the majority of the world will in fact follow, worship, and believe in Jesus to this day. These questions set the stage for Jesus' story to be the most famous story ever told. Even though Paul was asking these questions in a contemptuous way, Jesus will prove to him that he indeed will save and strive to have the world follow in his footsteps. Moreover, people to this day still ask the same questions that Paul did. For example, atheists would agree with Paul's questions in the sense of questioning why they should worship God and just believe everything Jesus was claiming. How do they know God's existence and the story of Jesus was true? This ironic quote not only foreshadows, but can be applied to modern day views on religion.

Posted by: Alyssa Barca at January 27, 2016 10:06 PM

Jacie Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature
27 January 2016

Last Temptation of Christ: Chapter 32 Student #5

“’You, me, Martha, our embraces at night, the children…All, all—all lies! Lies creaed by the Tempter to deceive us! He took sleep, death and air and fashioned them into…Rabbi, help me!’” (Chapter 32, Kazanzakis, page 468, par. 14, Bien Translation).

Question: Identification and Discussion of a Key Conflict between either noncharacters,
or a characters and a non-character (e.g., nature, time, God, etc.) for
this chapter.

Answer: The biggest conflicts in this chapter is Jesus vs self and Jesus vs temptation. In this chapter Jesus struggles still with his role. He has been given a chance to forget who he is so he takes it. When confronted by Paul he says, “’Liar! Liar! I am Jesus of Nazareth and I was never crucified, never resurrected…I am not the son of God, I am the son of man—like everyone else’” (Chapter 32, page 476, par. 99, Bien Translation). When Paul came to try and wake Jesus from his dreams, Jesus almost did wake up. However the Negro brought Mary, Martha, and his children round him, everything that tempted him and enticed Jesus to once again give into the dream (Chapter 32, page 481, par. 141, Bien Translation). It is interesting to see that, like in the beginning, Jesus is still struggling with his responsibilities and still wishes he could have the life of a normal human.

Posted by: Jacie Dieffenwierth at January 27, 2016 10:44 PM

Jacie Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature
27 January 2016

Last Temptation of Christ: Chapter 32 Student #5

“’You, me, Martha, our embraces at night, the children…All, all—all lies! Lies creaed by the Tempter to deceive us! He took sleep, death and air and fashioned them into…Rabbi, help me!’” (Chapter 32, Kazanzakis, page 468, par. 14, Bien Translation).

Question: Identification and Discussion of a Key Conflict between either noncharacters,
or a characters and a non-character (e.g., nature, time, God, etc.) for
this chapter.

Answer: The biggest conflicts in this chapter is Jesus vs self and Jesus vs temptation. In this chapter Jesus struggles still with his role. He has been given a chance to forget who he is so he takes it. When confronted by Paul he says, “’Liar! Liar! I am Jesus of Nazareth and I was never crucified, never resurrected…I am not the son of God, I am the son of man—like everyone else’” (Chapter 32, page 476, par. 99, Bien Translation). When Paul came to try and wake Jesus from his dreams, Jesus almost did wake up. However the Negro brought Mary, Martha, and his children round him, everything that tempted him and enticed Jesus to once again give into the dream (Chapter 32, page 481, par. 141, Bien Translation). It is interesting to see that, like in the beginning, Jesus is still struggling with his responsibilities and still wishes he could have the life of a normal human.

Posted by: Jacie Dieffenwierth at January 27, 2016 10:44 PM

Annie Hays, Jonah Robertson, Racheljoy Capitola
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
27 January 2016

“The Last Temptation of Christ” Ch. 2 Bien Translation

Question: What is the main conflict in this chapter? Are there any lesser conflicts? Define theme and conflict.

Answer: A conflict is the tension that arises between two or more opposing wills. The main conflict in this chapter is Jesus vs. himself. Jesus believes it is his fault that all the bad things happening at the start of the story, as he says, “‘My father’s paralysis is my fault,” he murmured. ‘It’s my fault that Magdalene descended to prostitution; it’s my fault that Israel still groans under the yoke…’” (Kazantzakis 14). In order to punish himself for his perceived weakness and failings, Jesus whips himself with a belt covered in nails. A lesser conflict is Jesus vs society because of how they view him as the cross-maker. When Jesus walks through the streets, people yell, “‘Damn you to hell, cross-maker!’” and other such insults (20). They are angry that he builds the crosses to crucify their zealots. A theme is a recurring concept or message. For example, a theme in this chapter would be overcoming fear, as that is, “the only one of the devils which remained” in Jesus’s heart (13).

Posted by: Annie Hays, Jonah Robertson, Racheljoy Capitola at January 28, 2016 09:01 AM

Nicholas Santos
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
29 January 2016

“Suddenly he remembered where he was, who he was and why he felt pain. A wild, indomitable joy took possession of him. No, no, he was not a coward, a deserter, a traitor. No, he was nailed to the cross. He stood his ground honorably to the very end; he had kept his word’” (Page 383 [PDF ver.], Chapter Thirty-Three, P.A. Bien Translation).

Question: Identify and discuss a key conflict between either non-characters, or a character and a non-character, in Chapter Thirty-Three.

Answer: The main conflict of Chapter Thirty-Three, the final chapter of The Last Temptation of Christ, appears at first to be Jesus versus Humanity. In reality, the true conflict of Chapter Thirty-Three can be identified as Jesus versus the Devil.

When Jesus is introduced in this chapter, he has been revealed to have grown old; he also married Martha and Mary, and had children with them. He is eventually greeted by a “Negro” boy who introduces a group of men who Jesus apparently should know (375). These men are Peter, Jacob, Nathaniel, Philip, Matthew, Judas, and John: many of Jesus’ followers. However, Jesus has trouble identifying them, and something was terribly off about them; he couldn’t ignore the scent of the “charred wood, singed hair and open wounds” which made the air stink (375).

Each of the men was afflicted in a different way – and each of the ways they were afflicted was a result of humanity. Peter married, became hurt, had children, and saw “Jerusalem burn” (“…I’m human: all that broke me”) (375). Jacob was crippled by a storm, an act of God (“A wild storm crippled me. The keel cracked, the hull opened, the mast fell. I return to port a wreck”) (377). Nathaniel became overweight, lost his fingers, ears, and one eye (“You’ve grown flabby. Just look at your bloated, dangling backside, belly and double chins”) (377). Philip became a famished and shriveled old man (“’I get hungry,’ Phillip replied. ‘What do you expect me to do?’”) (377). Matthew wrote until he literally couldn’t anymore, his hair completely grown out and his quill pen destroyed (He lifted the rags which covered him, pushed aside his eyebrows, but could not understand who he was. When he searched under the hair, however, he found a large ear with an age-old broken quill behind it”) (377). Thomas lost his teeth and two hairs (“Only the teeth are missing—they fell out along the way—and the two hairs”) (388). Finally, John was “unrecognizable, with a white beard and two deep wounds on his cheeks and neck” (379).

Judas, who is also present, is physically fine, but has emotional wounds because of Jesus’ apparent betrayal. He outright calls Jesus a “coward,” a “deserter,” and a “traitor,” and eventually, the other former followers join in as well (383-4). Judas claims that Jesus’ “place was on the cross. That’s where the God of Israel put [him] to fight. But [he] got cold feet, and the moment death lifted its head, [he] couldn’t get away fast enough” (381). In this way, Jesus must face the trials that come with humanity, as his followers had to. According to Judas, Jesus never sacrificed himself on the cross because he feared death and missed the life he would have had. He did not suffer as a result, and was left to marry, have children, and live (as mentioned in the beginning of the chapter). However, Jesus is unaware of this as, in reality, he is imagining this event as he dies on the cross. This is explicitly illustrated as “he tried with all his might to discover where he was, who he was and why he felt pain. […] He attempted to move his lips but could not. He grew dizzy and was ready to faint. He seemed to be hurling downward and perishing” (383). Jesus is on a crucifix, dying from his wounds.

Once Jesus realizes where he is, he realizes as well that he did not fail in his task, believing the nightmare to be “illusions sent by the Devil” (383). In this way, Jesus is revealed to have had a conflict with the Devil himself during this chapter, and not necessarily humanity.

Posted by: Nicholas Santos at January 28, 2016 07:49 PM

Nicholas Santos, Ashley Reynolds, Marie Umholtz
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
29 January 2016

Question: What are the conflicts in Chapter 3 of The Last Temptation of Christ? Of those, which is the chief conflict, and why?

Answer: There are four main types of conflicts that are usually presented in literature: Man Versus Man; Man Versus Nature; Man Versus Self; and Man Versus Society. It may be argued that a fifth type, Man Versus Fate, also exists, and this is the most prominent conflict in Chapter Three of The Last Temptation of Christ. In this chapter specifically, there are many instances of Jesus refusing his call to action from God. Jesus furiously shakes his head and screams his earthly desires to God when he senses God reaching out to him, all while he is in the process of, ironically, building a crucifix in the hopes to shoo God away. He claims that he “love[s] food, wine, laughter” and wants to “marry, to have children;” immediately after this, he asks God, blatantly and after a pause, to leave him alone (Page 26 [PDF ver.], Chapter Three, P.A. Bien Translation). After declaring his love for Magdalene, he furthers his desire to separate himself not only from his predestined duty, but from God as well. He tells God that he “want[s] [God] to detest [him], to go and find someone else,” so that he won’t have to deal with the burden (27). The crucifix is a symbol of this want of his.

This conflict not only stems from Jesus, though; his mother, Mary, also suffers from a conflict with God, or in this case, fate. Towards the end of the chapter, she privately laments her life up to the present; she thinks that she “had been so unfortunate in her life, unfortunate in her husband, unfortunate in her son” (28). She realizes that “she had never known what it was to be young, had never felt the warmth of her husband, the sweetness and pride of being a wife and mother,” simply because she realizes, in this moment, that her only true purpose was to be, to some extent, used by God to create Jesus. She realizes that she had a “wasted life,” something taken from her much like Jesus’ life was taken from him (28). This conflict, shared by both Jesus and Mary, is the focal conflict of Chapter Three.

Posted by: Nicholas Santos, Ashley Reynolds, Marie Umholtz at January 28, 2016 07:51 PM

Nicole Alvarez, Seger Sipe, and Daniella Zacarias Kattán
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 CA01 Reading the Planet - Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
27 January 2016

“‘It’s my fault . . . my fault . . .’ murmured the young man, his eyes filling with tears.
In the silence of the night the son heard his father’s anguish and he too, overcome with anguish, began involuntarily to sweat and open and close his lips. Shutting his eyes, he listened to what his father did so that he could do the same. Together with the old man, he sighed, uttered desperate, inarticulate cries- and while doing this, slept once more.
But as soon as sleep came over him again the house shook violently, the workbench toppled over, tools and cross rolled to the floor, the door opened and the redbeard towered on the threshold, immense, laughing wildly, his arms spread wide.
The young man cried out, and awoke.” (Page 12, Chapter 1, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: What is the main conflict in chapter one? What other conflicts arise from this main conflict?

Answer: Conservativism versus progressivism is probably the main conflict. In the context of Jesus’s village, conservativism is the privileged hegemony. Jesus is the product of progressivism in a culture where conservativism is the preferred way of life. Jesus, as is common Christian belief, is God on Earth, or the Son of God; because of this, he suffers human existence from the point of view of God. Aside from this main conflict, Chapter 1 deals with themes such as God versus self, and Jesus versus free will/predestination and the use of the disciples as agents of Jesus’s predestination.
The conflict of God versus self, is evident in the very beginning of the chapter when Jesus is hearing the collective voice of his village’s people asking, “God of Israel, God of Israel, Adonai [plural of “Adon,” meaning “lord” or “master” with a connotation of ownership], how long?” (6). If Kazantzakis wrote his Jesus to be God on Earth, then this collective voice is being heard from the perspective of a God who has left their perfect spiritual form, to understand humanity. The collective voice is a version God’s humanly torture.
Finally, the use of the disciples as agents of Jesus’s predestination is noticeable in Jesus’s nightmare about the dwarfs. One of the dwarfs, described as being skinny and cross-eyed, calls out Jesus as being the Messiah in hiding: “’You’re the One, why are you hiding? Arise and save Israel!’” (9). The early description of these dwarfs is gruesome and violent; they “Each carried a strange implement of torture.” (8). These implements of torture are a way of communicating the massive pressure the disciples place of Jesus after they realize that he is the Messiah (this is revealed in a later chapter in the book). Jesus versus free will/predestination is evident in the pull and push between his use of human free will, and his God-driven predestination. Jesus’s human side urges him to do Earthly sins, such as his pursuit of Magdalen; however, his God side urges him to remain awake and away from temptations and sins. After his wild nightmare, Jesus is finally able to rest. However, he is awoken by “the redbeard,” who is later on revealed to be Judas.

Posted by: Daniella Zacarias at January 28, 2016 10:25 PM

Cheryl Nance, Natalie Cassidy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
27 January 2016

Question: Describe the main conflict in Chapter 6 of The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis. Clarify the difference between a theme and a conflict, but note how a conflict could be thematic if it is recurring. Provide the specifics of the conflicts that occur.

Answer: The main conflict in Chapter 6 is Jesus vs. himself. This conflict is thematic because Jesus struggles throughout his journey with feelings of unworthiness. In Chapter 6, Jesus is on his way to the monastery. For the first time, “his heart felt relieved” (67). But then Jesus begins to feel sorry for himself again and says “no one realizes how much I suffer” (77). He only feels shame for his status as a cross-maker. Even as he tries to thank God for his suffering, he can’t help but feel “the injustice which was being done to him” (78). This self-doubt keeps him from accepting the path God has chosen for him.

Posted by: Cheryl Nance at January 28, 2016 10:27 PM

Alyssa Barca, Alexis Lebkey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
29 January 2016

Group work:
Chapter 4, Group 4

Assignment:
1) Identify the conflicts within the chapter.
2) Clarify the difference between a theme and a conflict.
3) Choose most important conflict within assigned chapter.

Answer: The conflicts within chapter 4 of "The Last Temptation of Christ" by Nikos Kazantzakis are Jesus vs. Himself (or God), Jesus vs. Society, and Mary vs. Society. The difference between a theme and a conflict is that a theme is the overall message or idea that a reader would take away from a piece of text, whereas a conflict is two opposing forces whom are struggling against each other. The conflict that was most dominant within this chapter would be Mary Versus Society. This chapter builds off of the doubts that Mary was having for herself, and her son, in the previous chapter. Mary questions if she had a meaningless life, and if she was basically used by God to have Jesus, and now Jesus's life has been taken from him by God. However, in chapter 4 Mary fears for Jesus as he's carrying the cross, and hides herself from society while still watching him being kicked and struggling to carry the cross from a distance. At first she acted as a bystander to what was taking place, but she couldn't bare too see her son weak and trembling so she tried to leap into the crowd but was pulled back by an old man. This relates to the main conflict of Mary vs. Society because she had to watch as her son as he struggled in pain as the crucifier and there was nothing she could do about it. All society saw of Jesus was a traitor and an evil "cross-maker", and Mary had to stand back and watch her son be abused by society. However, a woman reminds Mary that the helplessness she feels for her Jesus and what society is doing to him is nothing compared to the pain a mother is feeling whose son is being crucified. The quote that directly relates to this scene is described as, "It's better to be the mother of the crucifier" she murmured, "than of the crucified." (Kazantzakis 50)

Posted by: Alyssa Barca at January 28, 2016 11:05 PM

Lauren Kilton, Giuseppe Donnian

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation

28 January 2016

Question: What are the conflicts in chapter 5? What is the chief conflict?

Answer: The chapter begins with the conflict among men in terms of values and beliefs. The rabbi and the general people of Israel are oppressed by the Romans, who continuously crucify the prophets and disregard religion. The rabbi asks and waits desperately for the Messiah to come during his lifetime, so that he will fulfill God’s will and restore order on earth. The struggle of men in facing and communicating with God is the central conflict of this chapter, and it is manifested in three ways: the rabbi vs. God, Mary vs. God, and Jesus vs. God, although Jesus vs. God can also be a God vs. God conflict. The rabbi, and various other characters in the novel, fear that they are “going to die without the Messiah first having gladdened [their] sight” (56). Everyday they grow older and ask God to reveal the Messiah to them, but he is nowhere to be found. Mary suffers because she feels that she is merely “a handful of mud in [God’s] hands, and [He] kneads [her] as [He] pleases” (59). She does not understand the reasons for the events and suffering in her life, and she worries about her son’s mysterious behavior and appearance. Jesus tells his mother that he will resist God “until [he] dies[s]” (64,) and then he immediately collapses to the floor under the weight of God. The process by which Jesus becomes God causes him great suffering, especially in the earlier stages, so he often wishes to be free of the burden.

Posted by: Lauren Kilton at January 29, 2016 12:16 AM

Nicole Klukowski
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CAO 1
29 January 2016

“’This is the road.’
‘The road? What road, dearest Jesus?’
‘The road by which the mortal become immortal, the road by which God descends to earth in human shape. I went astray because I sought a route outside the flesh; I wanted to go by way of the clouds, great thoughts an death. Woman, precious fellow worker of God, forgive me. I bow and worship you, Mother of God.’” (450, Chapter 30)

Question: Discuss a key conflict between the character Jesus and the non-character adversary, man’s will, in Chapter 30.

Answer: Jesus faints while on the cross and dreams that he is not crucified. In his dream, he is shown the things his life could have given the man Jesus. The God Jesus had to be crucified, but the man side of Jesus wants a typical human life. Jesus is confronted with what he could have chosen, a life as Mary Magdalene’s husband. The dream leads him to believe that salvation can be found in marriage to Magdalene instead of sacrificing himself. Jesus is the water that will quench the thirst of mankind, but Magdalene tells him, “I am that water” (450). Jesus agrees with her and answers, “Woman is a fountain of immortal water” (450).The agenda of the God side of Jesus is in direct contrast with what the human side of Jesus wants.

Posted by: Nicole Klukowski at January 29, 2016 01:04 AM

Leona Hunt
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet - Comparative Global Literature
29 January 2016

“The two remained alone. Taking a mat and the blanket which was decorated with the cross and the swallows, they went up to the roof of the house. A merciful cloud covered the sun. They hid under the embroidered blankets so that God would not see them, and began to caress each other. ” (Chapter 31 : The Last Temptation of Christ, page 358, par. 3, P.A. Bien Translation)

Question: Identify and discuss a key conflict between the characters in chapter 31.

Answer: A key conflict mentioned in the chapter is Jesus’s fall into sexual temptation with women. Jesus abandons his chastity to the cross, pretends to be Lazarus so he can live with Mary and Martha, and begets children with them. The above quote reveals Jesus’s sacrilegious actions on Mary’s blanket with holy symbols, and his awareness of the wrongness of his actions because “they hid under the embroidered blankets so that God would not see them” (Kazantzakis 358). Also, the conflict of temptation stretches to the relationship between Jesus and the Angel (who pretends to be his Ethiopian slave). The Angel promotes Jesus’s changed mindset and tells him, “Alone, you cannot find God! Two persons are needed, a man and a woman.” (Kazantzakis 358) Jesus, therefore, has his ideas on how to find God changed and influenced by the sly Angel that argues for mortal pleasures.

Posted by: Leona Hunt at January 29, 2016 11:26 AM

Erin Gaylord, Amber Clidinst
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet
29 January 2016

1. Jesus Vs. Fate. He is having an internal struggle with his fate as the son of God. “There’s a devil inside me which cries, ‘You’re not the son of the Carpenter, you’re the son of King David! You are not man whom Daniel prophesied. And still more: the son of God! And still more: God!” (Ch. 10, Pg. 147).

2. Theme: a moral to the story, what the reader should take away from the story, an underlying message that is not stated but implied.
Conflict: a struggle in the story between the protagonist and someone/something else can be one of these three things. Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Himself.

3. In this chapter, Jesus is going up against his fate as the son of God. He is struggling to accept that he is the Messiah that they have all been waiting for. Jesus believes that God is pushing him to be more than he is and in reaction he is fighting against this by attempting to make God hate him by committing every sin he can (144). But this creates a guilt in him, leading him to feel that the devil is inside of him and that he is no longer worthy of the position God is trying to push him into.

Posted by: Erin Gaylord at January 29, 2016 11:56 AM

Will McDermott & Nicole Klukowski
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet
29 January 2016

Chapter 8 of the novel focuses on the theme of the soul versus the body. As a theme, the soul encompasses God and his wills, which often go against the body, representative of humanity as a whole.

The Abbot Joachim tells his monks that he wants to die in order for his soul to be free of his body, his reasoning being “He wanted to die — that he made absolutely clear to the brothers —so that his soul might be unburdened of the body, might be relieved of this wright and enabled to ascent to heaven in oder to find God. He had a complaint to settle with him: it was necessary for him to see him and talk to him. But the body was lead; it prevented his ascent.” (page 78, online edition, P.A. Bein translation)

The Abbot sees his flesh as the factor that prevents him from communicating with God, thinking that his own mortality is keeping him from reaching God. The Abbot’s conflict of his flesh verses the soul mirrors that of Jesus in the novel, who fears communication with God and is terrified of dying and ascending. Zebeedee claims that “Whatever God does is right,” (page 87, online edition, P.A. Bein translation) showing that, in his opinion, the flesh should have no dominion over the soul and that the soul is in God’s command.

The theme of the flesh versus the soul is the overall struggle the characters in the novel must face, but the conflicts that arise from that struggle are more personal and differ from person to person, as explained and shown between the Abbot Joachim and Jesus.

Posted by: Will McDermott & Nicole Klukowski at January 29, 2016 12:17 PM

Will McDermott & Nicole Klukowski
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet
29 January 2016

Chapter 8 of the novel focuses on the theme of the soul versus the body. As a theme, the soul encompasses God and his wills, which often go against the body, representative of humanity as a whole.

The Abbot Joachim tells his monks that he wants to die in order for his soul to be free of his body, his reasoning being “He wanted to die — that he made absolutely clear to the brothers —so that his soul might be unburdened of the body, might be relieved of this wright and enabled to ascent to heaven in oder to find God. He had a complaint to settle with him: it was necessary for him to see him and talk to him. But the body was lead; it prevented his ascent.” (page 78, online edition, P.A. Bein translation)

The Abbot sees his flesh as the factor that prevents him from communicating with God, thinking that his own mortality is keeping him from reaching God. The Abbot’s conflict of his flesh verses the soul mirrors that of Jesus in the novel, who fears communication with God and is terrified of dying and ascending. Zebeedee claims that “Whatever God does is right,” (page 87, online edition, P.A. Bein translation) showing that, in his opinion, the flesh should have no dominion over the soul and that the soul is in God’s command.

The theme of the flesh versus the soul is the overall struggle the characters in the novel must face, but the conflicts that arise from that struggle are more personal and differ from person to person, as explained and shown between the Abbot Joachim and Jesus.

Posted by: Will McDermott & Nicole Klukowski at January 29, 2016 12:17 PM

Amber Clidinst
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literature CA01
29 January 2016

Ch 31

Question: Identification and discussion of a Key Conflict between either non-characters, or a character and a non-character.

Answer: The key conflict in Chapter 31, between a character and a non-character, is Martha versus religious expectation. As a young, religious women she is expected to act a certain way, ie maintain virginity and goodness. However she wishes to be wed and have children and she longs for Jesus even though she knows it is not the correct way to act. The angel disguised as a negro boy teases her about this, claiming that his god “does whatever he pleases” and encourages his people to do the same (464). This only makes Martha’s internal struggle more difficult.

Posted by: Amber Clidinst at January 29, 2016 12:20 PM

Alexis Lebkey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG410 Global Comparative Literature CA01
29 January 2016

“At that moment the cock of the yard crowed. Peter groaned loudly. He remembered the rabbi’s words: ‘Peter, Peter, before the cock crows, you will deny me three time.’ He went out to the street, collapsed onto the ground and burst into tears.”
(Chapter 29, page 435, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: This passage referred to when Peter denied Jesus. What was Peter’s relationship with Jesus and why did he react this way after his betrayal?

Answer: Peter was one of the apostles, but his friendship with Jesus started early on in the book. In Chapter 4 when Jesus was struggling with the cross, it was Peter who took the cross from him and lifted it to his shoulder. “Let me help you,” he said. “You’re tired.” (44). Peter had unburdened him when everyone else around Jesus was damning him. Perhaps that is one of the reasons his betrayal was so painful. Also, before his betrayal in Chapter 26, Peter had Matthew read to the others what Jesus had said to him, which was: [“You are Peter, and upon his rock I shall build my church. And I shall give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you bind upon earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”] (378). It seems Peter was so devastated that he had betrayed Jesus because he likely thought that meant he would not get the keys to heaven, and he was mourning what he thought he had lost.

Posted by: Alexis Lebkey at January 29, 2016 12:25 PM

Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
29 January 2016

“The Last Temptation of Christ” Ch. 30 pt. 2 Bien Translation

“They both turned deathly pale. Their knees gave way. Unable to go further, they lay down under a flowering lemon tree and began to roll on the gorund” (Kazantzakis 450).

Question: Did God finally allow Jesus to give into his earthly pleasures, or is the angel from earlier in the chapter lying and the crucifixion is real?

Answer: This chapter is clearly a dream, and the crucifixion is real. In this chapter, Jesus has given into his earthly desires for Mary Magdalene and they consummate their marriage. Then, somehow, Mary walks out of the lemon grove and is killed by Saul in a burial ground (Kazantzakis 454). This all seems very illogical, as God never allowed Jesus such earthly pleasures before, not to mention that the scenery and imagery of the caravan of death are not logical or realistic. However, the crucifixion is real as Simon of Cyrene witnesses Jesus die on the cross. As he watches Jesus on the cross, he says, “‘What is this?’ […] ‘God himself, God himself is crucifying him!’ And then—never in his life had the Cyrenian experienced such intense fear or pain—a great, heart-rending cry, full of complaint, tore the air from earth to heaven” (443). With that, Simon sees Jesus breathe his last breath. While the angels crucifying Jesus may not seem real, people saw the spirit of the Jordan River during Jesus’s baptism, which means that humans can see supernatural beings for brief periods of time (240). Because Simon saw all of this happen and the crucifixion happens logically as opposed to the wedding with Mary Magdalene, Chapter Thirty is a dream.

Posted by: Annie Hays at January 29, 2016 12:36 PM

Giuseppe Donnian
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410
29 January 2016

In chapter 33, the color white is mentioned many times when describing Jesus and Mary, "Your hair has turned white, Mary dearest, and so has the hair of courageous Martha." "Yes, Beloved, we have turned white." The author juxtaposes the color white, with the Negro. What do you believe the author is implying?

When the author uses the color white to describe Jesus and Mary it suggests that they are pure. The Negro represents corruption. Mary does not like the Negro and describes him as an evil spirit. The juxtaposition of colors work to further develop the characters as good or bad.

Posted by: Giuseppe Donnian at January 29, 2016 01:06 PM

Jonah Robertson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410: Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
1/29/16

“‘Life is war’ Jesus answered in the same resolute, always tranquil voice” (293)
Question:
What purpose does the tranquility in Jesus’ voice serve? Is he truly seeking to aggravate Pilate, as Pilate believes, or is that not the case?
Answer:
Jesus’ tranquility seems somewhat out of character based on his character earlier in the book. However, by chapter 26 he has gone through substantial transformation, and as such is no longer the emotional wreck he was earlier in the novel. Therefore, his tranquility denotes his evolution as a character, as he now can control his emotions and is not a slave to them. His tranquility gives him a sort of regal presence, leading towards his role as a “king”.
It does not seem as though his goal is to infuriate Pilate. Instead, he seems purely to intend to instruct and inform the man about what Jesus believes is to come. Pilate simply takes the prophecies as threats because of his more aggressive nature, while Jesus is simply attempting to inform him.

Posted by: Jonah Robertson at January 29, 2016 01:54 PM

Marie Umholtz
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 - Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
29 January 2016
Chapter 30, #4: Identify and discuss a key conflict between characters
“‘Death and immortality. . . . Great Martyr, I’ve brought you precisely where I want you. Prepare yourself for death, Magdalene, so that you may become immortal.’
‘I don’t want to die. I don’t want to become immortal. Let me continue to live on the earth, and afterward, turn me into ashes.’ [. . .]
‘Magdalene, you have attained the highest joy of your life. You can go no higher. Death is kind. . . . Until we meet again, First Martyr!’” (Chapter 30, page 352, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: Here, there is a conflict between God and Magdalene; Magdalene pleads with God to let her live because He has just revealed to her that she will die. How does this reflect the overall struggle Kazantzakis presents between human will and God’s will?

Answer: Magdalene is willing to let go of immortality to live the life she desires on earth. As she pleads with God, He is unrelenting; He tries to persuade her to accept her fate. As Magdalene sees her death approach her, she pleads, “‘Lord, do not abandon me’” (452), after God seems to have receded away. Similarly, Jesus later reverts back to his rebellious attitude toward God, as he exclaims, “‘Only dogs have such a longing for submission—dogs and angels! I’m not a dog and I’m not an angel. I’m a man, and I shout, Unjust! Unjust! Almighty, it was unjust of you to kill her’” (457). Similar to God’s response to Magdalene, the angel advises Jesus to yield to God’s will as well. He eventually accepts the angel’s guidance. Though Magdalene and Jesus have their own desires, God’s will always seems to supersede all other plans. Magdalene cannot run from her fate, and Jesus must submit to God’s will again when confronted with circumstances he cannot control.

Posted by: Marie Umholtz at January 29, 2016 11:56 PM

Lauren Kilton

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation

29 January 2016

“In the rottenness, the injustice and poverty of this world, the Crucified and Resurrected Jesus has been the one precious consolation for the honest man, the wronged man. True or false—what do I care! It’s enough if the world is saved!” (Ch. 32, P. 477, Bien Translation)

Question: What is Paul’s argument in this passage? What is his understanding of truth?

Answer: Paul does not have concern for what Jesus tells him, rather, he explains how merely the story of the son of God being crucified and resurrected is all that matters. Paul views truth as something he creates “out of obstinacy and longing and faith” (477). People do not discover the truth, instead, they make it. Humanity’s understanding of everything needs to correspond with their peace of mind. Therefore, a narrative fabricated around the life of Jesus will conquer the ultimate enemy of death and eternal suffering, even if it is not true in the general sense of the term.

Posted by: Lauren Kilton at January 30, 2016 12:17 AM

Cheryl Nance
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
29 January 2016

“’Shut up, jabber-jaws. Bah! When the soul is willing, the body doesn’t mean a thing. All becomes soul, even the club in your hand, the coat on your back, the stones you walk over – all, all!’” (Page 439, Chapter 29, P. A. Bien translation)

Question: This quote was spoken by Simon the tavern-keeper to Jesus’ disciples. What exactly does he mean? Why did Kazantzakis choose Simon to defend Jesus instead of one of the disciples?

Answer: Simon spoke these words to the disciples because they denied Jesus and were hiding like cowards instead of supporting him. Simon says he defended Jesus only “because my confounded self-respect got hold of me” (440). He is making the point that neither shame, fear, nor greed are strong enough to combat what one believes in his soul is the right action to take. The disciples showed they were only looking out for themselves by arguing over what they feel Jesus owes them for their loyal service. When Salome asks for special consideration for her sons, Jesus wonders when “would men realize that good deeds never condescend to accept recompense” (391). Their greed shows the true nature of their souls. They would not risk life to support Jesus. By choosing Simon, who doesn’t believe Jesus is the Messiah and, therefore, doesn’t have anything to gain by defending him, Kazantzakis is showing that a common man can have the strength to do what is right.

Posted by: Cheryl Nance at January 31, 2016 08:55 PM

Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature in Translation CA01
1 February 2016

“Mary,” he said, “don’t you ever think about death, don’t you seek God’s mercy, don’t you worry what will become of you in the next world?”
Mary shook her long hair and laughed. “Those are a man’s concerns,” she said. “No, I don’t seek God’s mercy. I’m a woman; I seek mercy from my husband. And I don’t knock at God’s door either, asking like a beggar for the eternal joys of Paradise. I hug the man I love and have no desire for any other Paradise. Let’s leave the eternal joys to the men!”
“The eternal joys to the men?” said Jesus, caressing her bare shoulder. “Beloved wife, the earth is a narrow threshing floor. How can you lock yourself up in that space and not want to escape?”
“A woman is happy only inside boundaries. You know that, Rabbi. A woman is a reservoir, not a spring.”
(Kazantzakis 366, chapter 32, Bien translation)

Question: Identify and discuss an imbalanced dichotomy (i.e., a hegemonic dichotomy) from anywhere between chapters 30 to 33. What are the two “sides”? Which side is privileged over the other, and why? Is this problematic for either a group or a character in the story, or for the reader, or both, and why?

Answer: While there are several dichotomies present in The Last Temptation of Christ—Old Testament and New Testament, heaven and earth, man and God, Jew and Roman, choice and fate—one of the most problematic is man and woman. Women in The Last Temptation of Christ are clearly inferior to men; they are petty, materialistic, lack individual identity, foolish, and prideful. While the men of the story are not perfect, they have individuality the women lack. Satan states that, “Only one woman exists in the world, one woman with countless faces. This one falls; the next rises” (Kazantzakis 353, chapter 30, Bien translation). Satan’s claim that all women are the same is confirmed by the narrative. Men are multifaceted; Peter acts foolish but is one of the most revered apostles, Judas betrays Jesus but is righteous, Simeon dismisses heaven but is the only one who stays by Jesus. Women, on the other hand, have the same desires: to get married, have children, and rule a household. Even the Virgin Mary, one of the most revered characters in the Bible, is portrayed as a nagging, foolish housewife who wants Jesus to turn away from his holy purpose so she can have grandchildren. Men are individuals while women are all the same.

Women are also inferior because they are more concerned with heaven than earth. Since earth is clearly inferior, women are also inferior by association. Mary herself argues that women don’t care about heaven, they care about their husbands. She states, “No, I don’t seek God’s mercy. I’m a woman; I seek mercy from my husband. And I don’t knock at God’s door either, asking like a beggar for the eternal joys of Paradise. I hug the man I love and have no desire for any other Paradise. Let’s leave the eternal joys to the men!” (Kazantzakis 366, chapter 32, Bien translation). A woman’s happiness is dependent on her husband. She doesn’t have rational thought or free will. Instead, her identity is dependent on the male figures in her life. This makes her a lesser human being, inferior to logical and powerful men.

The foolishness of women is also apparent in the story Jesus tells when arriving at the house of Mary and Martha:

“When woman arrives at the gate of Paradise she will stop and ask, ‘Lord, will my companions enter too?’
“ ‘What companions?’ God will ask her.
“ ‘Here—the trough, cradle, lamp, pitcher and loom. If they don’t go in, neither do I.’
“And goodhearted God will laugh. ‘You’re women; can I refuse you a favor? Enter, all of you. Paradise is so full of troughs, cradles and looms, I have no place left for the saints.”’
The two women laughed.
(Kazantzakis 355, chapter 31, Bien translation)

Here, again, woman’s happiness is dependent on trifles instead of spiritual fulfillment. Women are portrayed like children: infantile, charming because of their ignorance, and beautiful to look at. Women need to rely on men to save them and guide them down the correct spiritual path.

The Last Temptation of Christ was written during the 1950s, so this portrayal of women is hardly surprising. Indeed, the church has historically held a similar view of women; they’re either ignorant virgins or vile temptresses. Either way they do not know better. The Bible tells a different story. Although women take a subservient role, it is women who are present at Jesus’s resurrection, it is the Virgin Mary who is deemed more holy than anyone else alive, and it is Magdalene that is praised for her piety. The Virgin Mary is at Jesus’s feet during the crucifixion when the apostles are absent. These details are conspicuously absent from Kazantzakis’s novel. Instead, the dichotomy of women being inferior to men is emphasized. This view is problematic for a modern reader, including women such as myself, who are alienated by Kazantzakis. Certainly it is problematic for the women in the novel, who are simultaneously glorified and infantilized. Either way, it is clear that within The Last Temptation of Christ, women are obviously inferior to their male counterparts.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at January 31, 2016 09:57 PM

Daniella Zacarias Kattán
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 CA01 Reading the Planet - Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
26 January 2016

“They judged him, condemning him to death. But as they led him to be executed, he remembered that he could not die: he was a heavenly beast, and immortal.” (Page 403, Chapter 27, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: Chapter 27 talks about another one of Jesus’s frenzied dreams. Could this dream be a reference to any other work of literature? If yes, which and why. If no, how does it relate to the opening scene’s (Chapter 1) dream?

Answer: Jesus’s dream in chapter 27 could be a reference to Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. The reference comes to mind when Kazantzakis includes the mention of animals judging a human about to go through a divine journey. Kazantzakis’s passage specifically brings to mind Alighieri’s passage on the leopard, lion, and she wolf; “a she-wolf showed herself; she seemed/ to carry every craving in her leanness;/ she had already brought despair to many. (Inferno, I, 31-51).” The mention of “foxes, dogs, hogs, and wolves” brings to mind animals which possess powerful predatory instincts (dogs), traditionally shrewd features (foxes), sloth and gluttony (hogs), and most importantly, greed (wolves).

Posted by: Daniella Zacarias at February 1, 2016 12:03 PM

Cheryl Nance
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
31 January 2016

“’A prophet is the one who, when everyone else despairs, hopes. And when everyone one else hopes, he despairs. You’ll ask me why. It’s because he has mastered the Great Secret: that the Wheel turns.’” (Page 488, Chapter 33, P. A. Bien translation)

Question: Does Thomas’ explanation of a prophet correctly define Jesus? Why or why not? What does Thomas mean when he says the great secret is that the wheel turns?

Answer: Thomas’ definition of a prophet accurately describes the life of Jesus. One example of this can be seen by looking at the two crucifixions presented in the novel. At the beginning of the story, Jesus makes and carries the cross for the zealot’s crucifixion. He is in utter despair, yet the people are full of hope that the Messiah is coming. The people shouted “Greetings, brothers, the Saviour has come!” (37). Peter even comes forward and helps Jesus carry the cross. But when Jesus is crucified, he is full of hope for the world. Jesus murmured “Welcome, faithful fellow voyager” because he is happy to see his life’s work turned into the blessing of his death. The people, however, are in despair. The disciples doubt he is the Messiah and are too cowardly to help him.
Thomas explains this reversal of hope and despair by saying the great secret is that the wheel turns. When a wheel turns, every part of it must at one point bear the entire weight. If Jesus is a wheel, then when he is despairing under all the weight is the moment he gives the world hope. But as that despair it lifted off him, it falls to the people. This shift of hope and despair is in constant motion, like a wheel.

Posted by: Cheryl Nance at February 1, 2016 12:37 PM

Alexis Lebkey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Global Comparative Literature CA01
01 February 2016

“The Negro jumped up, seized the bolt of the door, looked at Jesus and smiled mockingly. ‘Shall I open?’ he asked, hardly able to restrain his laughter. ‘It’s your old companions, Jesus of Nazareth.’
‘My old companions?’
‘You shall see them!’ said the Negro, and he threw the door wide open.”
(Chapter 33, page 485, P.A. Bien translation)

Question: This passage referred to when Satan was tempting Jesus as he was crucified. Satan decides to have Jesus see his old companions. Why does Satan want this to happen and what is the disciples part in Christ’s last temptation?

Answer: It seems that the whole point of the delusion was to try to tempt Christ to reject his role as the Messiah. By showing him that he could have had such happiness in getting married and having children, it makes it that much harder for Christ to accept his role because now he must reject something that he has come to enjoy, this new life he has. The disciples are the final test because when they come and begin to call him a traitor, Jesus could have defended himself. Jesus could have reasoned that he had been wrong before; he was not the Messiah, and he was not supposed to be crucified for humankind. If he had done that, the crucifixion would have meant nothing because he was no longer doing it in his heart. Instead, Jesus admitted, “Now I realize it: I’m lost! Yes, yes, I should have been crucified, but I lost courage and fled. Forgive me, brothers, I cheated you. Oh, if I could only relive my life from the beginning!” (494). Now that he has “experienced” the earthly pleasures, at least in his mind, when Jesus said he would still have wanted to be crucified meant that he accepted who he is as Messiah and that his happiness was with God, not Earth.

Posted by: Alexis Lebkey at February 1, 2016 12:54 PM

Alexis Lebkey, Jacie Dierffrenwierth, and Will Mcdermott
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature
31 January 2016
Group 3: Group Work

“‘Now I can depart.’
‘Not yet, Forerunner. First you must baptize me.’ Jesus’ voice had become sure, decisive.
‘I? You are the one who must baptize me, Lord.’” (Chapter 16, page 239, Bien Translation)

Question: This passage was referring to when Jesus met John the Baptist. What is the main conflict in this scene and does hegemony play a role in it?

The conflict of this chapter is John VS Self. He wants to “depart” or die now that Jesus has finally come, but Jesus tells him that he must baptize him first. John feels uneasy because he thinks that Jesus should be baptizing him. Later as John is baptizing Jesus, John says, “The servant of God is baptized…” but then stops because “he did not know what name to give” (240). It is clear that John only knows some much about what is happening, and so he struggles with doing what Jesus asks him to do. The hegemony in this scene is ideological because it was centered around religious belief. Jesus has assumed dominance over John as he is the Messiah. John’s struggle is doing what is asked of him even if he feels it is not something he should be doing, in this case baptizing Jesus.

Posted by: Alexis Lebkey, Jacie Dierffrenwierth, Will Mcdermott at February 1, 2016 01:42 PM

Nicholas Santos, Nicole Alvarez, Alyssa Barca
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
1 February 2016

“The citizens of Magdala entered at this point. They grabbed [Magdalene], lifted her up, brought her amidst boos and fits of laughter to a pit near the lake, and threw her in. Then both men and women scattered all around and loaded their aprons and tunics with stones” (Page 133 [PDF ver.], Chapter Twelve, P.A. Bien Translation).

Question: Identify the main characters and chief conflict in the scene involving Jesus saving Magdalene from being stoned to death (Chapter Twelve). Additionally, discuss any evidence of cultural hegemony in the scene.

Answer: Main characters of this scene include Jesus and his group of followers (one in particular who confronts Zebedee before he executes Magdalene); Zebedee, Salome, Jacob, Phillip, Nathaniel, Mary, and Magdalene, who were in the village; and the antagonistic brotherhood which is led by Barabbas (this includes Judas to some degree).

The major conflict in this scene involves, as the scene suggests, Jesus stopping Barabbas and his brotherhood from executing Magdalene. The underlying cause of this conflict revolves around power. Smaller conflicts include: Jesus versus Barabbas (or Jesus’ followers versus Barabbas’ brotherhood); Magdalene versus Society; Judas versus Barabbas; Jesus’ Follower versus Zebedee; and, to a much smaller extent, Magdalene versus Death.

There are many examples of cultural hegemony in this scene, with the different groups representing different beliefs and outlets of power. The biggest examples come from Jesus and Barabbas. Magdalene is being pursued by Barabbas’ brotherhood because she is a prostitute. Barabbas, who is leading this brotherhood, believes that he is acting on the will of God and is seen as a domineering force. He fearlessly claims that “[He’s] the Law,” and proceeds to challenge anyone to “match his strength” with him (134). He takes power not only over the people who follow him, but also over Magdalene, whose inability to control her own destiny (absence of power) led to her current predicament. He shows his power again when he fails to be influenced by Jesus’ words, saying that only the one who “is without sin be the first to throw a stone;” he doesn’t believe what he’s doing is wrong (137). Enhancing this idea is the clear display that Barabbas is the leader of this brotherhood; he is the one who announces that he and the people he’s with are “coming in, with or without [Zebedee’s] permission—in the name of the God of Israel” (133). He also signals the group to silence themselves when he “lifted his hand as a signal for the shouting to cease” because “he wanted to pronounce the decree and set the stoning in motion” (133).

Jesus, who appears with an “army” of followers, exemplifies his power and influence in numbers (135). When he hears Magdalene’s cry for help, he abandons his original fears of being in a “world of men” and takes responsibility to rescue her, which is a representation of his power (135). As he approaches the men, he feels less fearful and more hopeful, believing that if he could convince Barabbas and his people to accept their sinful nature, there would be “hugging and kissing” and “happiness” within them, allowing them to repent for their sins. When he finally confronts Barabbas, he tells him that “[He’s] glad to see [Barabbas]” and that “[He] is a friend,” to which Barabbas “roared” to not “come any closer” (136). When Barabbas attempts to rally his people against Jesus and Magdalene, Jesus, in an expression of firm compassion, spoke to him with a “voice tranquil and sad,” completely opposite of Barabbas’ (137).

Throughout the rest of the scene, a constant back-and-forth between Jesus’ tranquil nature and Barabbas’ barbaric nature develops. Eventually, Zebedee conforms to attacking Magdalene with Barabbas’ stone as a way to end the stalemate.
One of God’s followers who remains unnamed steps forward once this happens. The follower makes him realize that his life is already full of sin, and that adding Magdalene’s murder to the list of sins he already has will make things much worse. It eventually convinces him, as he, “the old sinner,” had “felt the weight of the stone in his hand and restrained himself more and more.” Eventually, “his arm wilted abruptly and fell useless at his side.” The stone then fell out of his hands, breaking his toes (137). This is yet another example of cultural hegemony, as he is ultimately unable to go against Jesus’ beliefs.

As a result of Zebedee’s loss, an enraged Barabbas slaps Jesus as a sign of his power. Jesus, however, shows his power by commanding Barabbas to “hit the other one [his other cheek] too,” to which Barabbas is stunned; “Barabbas’ hand grew numb, and his eyes popped out of his head. Who was this person? What was he—a ghost, a man, or a devil? Dumfounded, he stepped back and gazed at Jesus,” realizing he could not win this battle (137).

It is also important to note that Barabbas, who acts purely on the will of “the God of Israel,” differs from Jesus in these instances in that Jesus acts on his instincts, and not on God’s will (133).

Posted by: Nicholas Santos, Nicole Alvarez, Alyssa Barca at February 1, 2016 06:28 PM

Natalie Cassidy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet CA01
1 February 2016

Question: In this chapter, Prof. Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek claims that, “in principle, the discipline of Comparative Literature is, in toto, a method in the study of literature in at least two ways.” What are those two ways? Explain them, in your own words.

Answer: Professor Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek states that Comparative Literature is a study of literature in two ways. First, Comparative Literature is the study of “more than one national language and literature,” or, the study of other disciplines and literature (Tötösy de Zepetnek 13). In other words, Comparative Literature focuses on literature that involves different languages and cultures. Second, Professor Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek states, “Comparative Literature has an ideology of inclusion of the Other” (Tötösy de Zepetnek 13). In other words, Comparative Literature is a global study of literature, which borrows techniques from other areas of study. Comparative Literature is accepting of different techniques and methods, whereas other forms of literature may reject this style of writing.

Posted by: Natalie Cassidy at February 1, 2016 07:56 PM

Amber Clidinst, Jonah Robertson, Daniella Zacarias Kattán
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Reading the Planet: Comparative Global Literature CA01
29 January 2016

Conversation with Pilate

Question: Who are the characters in this scene?

Answer: The only characters in this scene are Jesus and Pontius Pilate.

Question: What is the conflict in this scene?

Answer: The conflict in this scene appears to be Jesus v. Pilate, however, Jesus does not allow an aggressive escalation within their conversation and any attempt that Pilate makes to start a confrontation is met with a kind of non-reaction.
“Rome is the huge statue which the prophet Daniel saw in his vision.”
“Statue? What statue? Whatever you Jews yearn for while you’re awake, you see in your sleep. You live and die with visions.”
“That is the way man begins his campaign—with visions. Little by little the shade thickens and solidifies, the spirit dons flesh and descends to earth. The prophet Daniel had a vision, and because he had it: that’s it!—the spirit will take on flesh, descend to earth and destroy Rome.”
In this scene Pilate attempts to insult Jesus and the Jews, however, instead of arguing, Jesus calmly accepts this notion and proves his own point with it, but he does so with no clear malice or need for argument in his reply.
Jesus’ attitude can be read as passive, having come to terms with his fate and the fate of Rome. Or it can be seen as passive aggressive, causing Pilate stress by not purposefully not reacting.

Question: Is there any evidence of cultural hegemony in this scene?

Answer: There is a clear statement from Pilate that Romans are better than the Jews, who he calls dirty. However, in this very scene the structure is pretty balanced.

Posted by: Amber Clidinst, Jonah Robertson, Daniella Zacarias Kattán at February 2, 2016 05:42 PM

Cheryl Nance, Rachel Andrews, Nicole Klukowski
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literatures in Translation CA01
29 January 2016

Question: Who are the main characters in the scene where Jesus fasts in the desert and is tempted by Satan? What are the major conflicts in the scene and is there any evidence of cultural hegemony?

Answer: Jesus is alone in the desert, but is visited by both Satan and God. He is first tempted by hunger and thirst as he sees two rabbits; “one was cool, like water, the other warm and fragrant, like bread” (253). His second temptation was a life with Mary Magdalene, where Satan tells him “forget about the Earth, it’s her, Magdalene, you must save!” (256). His third temptation was the idea of ruling the world. Jesus is told to forget about heaven, as the “stones and soil and flesh” (261) is the real kingdom. These temptations all reflect the struggle between the cultural hegemony of what society expects of a man and Jesus’s spiritual path of becoming the Messiah.

Posted by: Cheryl Nance at February 2, 2016 10:27 PM

Ashley Reynolds, Giuseppe Donnian, and Leona Hunt
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature in Translation CA01
3 February 2016

Jesus trembled secretly and struggled to find courage. This was the moment he had feared for so many years. It had come; God had conquered, had brought him by force where he wanted him—in front of men—in order to make him speak. (Kazantzakis 141, chapter 13, Bien translation)

Question: Who are the main characters in the sermon on the mount scene? What is the chief conflict? Is there any evidence of cultural hegemony?

Answer: The sermon on the mount, also known as the beatitudes, happens directly after Jesus saves Mary Magdalene from stoning. The crowd follows Jesus out of town to a nearby hilltop, accompanied by Old Zebedee, Old Salome, the Virgin Mary, Judas Iscariot, and several of the future apostles (Andrew, Phillip, John, and Jacob).

The main conflict in this scene is Jesus versus society. The Jews have been waiting for the Messiah to save them from their woes and restore Israel to its former glory. They believe that the Messiah will come with fire and destroy all of Israel’s enemies, including the Romans. The dichotomy between Jews and Romans is obvious; the minority, Romans, hold all the power and wealth while the majority, Jews, are hungry and poor. The Jews are awaiting a Messiah that will flip the hegemony so that the Jews are on top and the Romans are underneath.

In his sermon, however, Jesus goes against the desires of the Jewish people. Instead of cursing the Romans, Jesus insists that all people are brothers. He commands the people to love one another, despite their differences. The crowd immediately grows angry. One old man yells, “Someone who’s starving can’t love a man whose stomach is full. The victim of injustice can’t love his oppressor. Impossible! Let’s go home!” (Kazantzakis 143, chapter 13, Bien translation). The crowd is skeptical of Jesus’s message to love everyone, including the Romans and the rich. Even Judas, who had been following Jesus, is skeptical of his claim: “Is this the stupendous message you bring us? You want us to love the Romans, eh? Are we supposed to hold out our necks like you do your cheek, and say, ‘Dear brother, slaughter me please’?” (Kazantzakis 143, chapter 13, Bien translation). The Jews, who have been oppressed, do not want to love their oppressors. They want to flip the hegemony so they are the ones in power. Jesus does not want to flip the dichotomy, however; he wants to destroy it altogether. This message of love is not what the Jews want to hear so they reject his message altogether.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds, Giuseppe Donnian, Leona Hunt at February 3, 2016 12:11 PM

Marie Umholtz, Erin Gaylord, and Lauren Kilton
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 - Reading the Planet-Comparative Global Literatures in Translation
5 February 2016
Jesus and the Moneychangers

Question: Who are the Main characters?

Answer: The main characters in this scene are Jesus, Peter, the mob, the Levites and the Roman soldiers.

Question: What is the main conflict?

Answer: Initially, Jesus and his followers conflict with the moneychangers and Levites, as Jesus’ anger incites the mob, as Kazantzakis explains, “The Levites grabbed lances and swords. . . . They rushed out to seize Jesus. But the people became ferocious; the disciples mustered up courage and in one body, bellowing, rushed to join the others in the fray” (409). However, the greater conflict is Jesus versus himself and/or his destiny. After he confronts the moneychangers, Jesus freezes. When the apostles ask for a sign to proceed with their uprising, Jesus appears distressed, as “Sweat ran in drops from his forehead. Your day is approaching, Lord, he said over and over to himself; the end of the world has come. I know that I shall bring it—I—but by dying. . . . Repeating this again and again, he found courage” (409). Jesus pauses after his bout of anger, again faces his inevitable fate, and he draws courage as he accepts God’s will.

Question: Is there any hegemony?

Answer: Kazantzakis illustrates Jesus’ influence and power over the crowd, though the priests ultimately hold lawful power, as John tells Jesus, “‘If you don’t give the sign now . . . we’re finished. What you’ve done today means death’” (409). The Romans’ laughter at the Jews suggests their sense of superiority over the Jews, who perhaps appear petty and ridiculous in the Romans’ eyes.

Posted by: Marie Umholtz at February 6, 2016 05:04 PM

Nicole Alvarez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 410 Comparative Global Literature in Translation CA01
8 February 2016

“’The seven heavens were not big enough for me,’ he said, ‘not the seven great virtues nor the seven great ideas. And now, what miracle is this, my sisters? A tiny house is big enough for me, and a mouthful of bread, and the simple words of a woman!’
He marched up and down the house as its master, brought in an armful of vine branches from the yard, fed the fire. The flames leaped up. He bent over the well, drew water and drank. He put out his hands, placed them on the shoulder of Martha and Mary and took possession of them.”
(Kazantzakis Pg. 460, Ch. 31).

Question: Jesus professes happiness and praises the two sisters for being humble, tranquil, and courteous to him upon his arrival with the angel, now a slave boy. However, does Jesus’ wording of his praises and his actions suggest that he is reflecting the cultural values of the time in terms of the patriarchy?

Answer: Jesus, while radical in terms of religious views, is perhaps not so radical in terms of the cultural hegemony of men and women. While Jesus preaches to everyone of fostering a love for all, equally, he does not preach an equality between men and women during their time on earth. Only after everyone has passed away and stood before God do they become equal.
The text suggests, in Jesus’ actions and words, in the passage quoted above that Jesus does subscribe to some form of the patriarchy, and that men have power over women. For example, while praising the two sisters and comparing their tiny home to the heavens, virtues, and great ideas, Jesus clasps a hand on each of them and takes “possession” of the two sisters. If men and women had equal rights under their laws then Jesus should not have been able to take possession of them. Whether Jesus is misogynistic himself or simply adhering to a cultural value that he grew up with and does not see a problem with is unclear.

Posted by: Nicole Alvarez at February 8, 2016 08:13 AM

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