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Peter Bien

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The Philosophical Basis of Kazantzakis's Writings

Kazantzakis was way ahead of his time philosophically and is still way ahead of our own time in many ways. When I use the word "philosophically" in this context, I really mean "religiously," because Kazantzakis's basic philosophy is a cosmology—namely, a study of what makes the universe tick. This is what religion traditionally explains. But Kazantzakis was unhappy with religion's traditional answers. What he wanted first and foremost was for religion to come into conformity with twentieth-century science.

I know that religion and science are often considered separate forms of knowledge. I do not share this view. Indeed, I feel that no religion is worthy of my respect and allegiance if it fails to be in concord with scientific knowledge.

Let's consider Christianity as an example. Christian theology developed chiefly in the first four centuries of our era, amalgamating Greek thought with Hebrew thought. Christianity's God, as traditionally conceived, is entirely congruent with the cosmological science of that time—namely, the Ptolemaic astronomical system that placed earth at the center with a series of moving spheres—moon, sun, and stars—circling it, all ultimately controlled by what Aristotle called the "unmoved mover". The traditionally conceived Christian God is that unmoved mover, hence unchangeable, eternal, absolute, perfect. Very nice—except that the science governing this theology is entirely wrong! Earth is not at the center. The stars are not fixed but are part of a cosmos that started probably 13.7 billion years ago with a Big Bang—a cosmos that has been expanding at an accelerated rate for the past five billion years (so we have learned from the Hubble telescope), and that assuredly will end some billions of years hence when our sun and the zillions of other suns either explode or simply run out of heat. As Robert Frost's celebrated poem tells us, "Some say the world will end in fire/ Some say in ice." In sum, as Darwin teaches us regarding living creatures, as geologists teach us regarding inanimate nature, Einstein regarding space-time, astrobiologists regarding galaxies, black holes, and retreating stars, nothing in our circumambient universe is unchangeable, eternal, absolute, perfect. So why should we accord respect and allegiance to a god who differs so remarkably from scientific truth as does the traditionally conceived Christian God?

This is the sort of question Kazantzakis asked himself as long ago as the early 1920s. I said that he was ahead of his time—not totally, of course, but largely so. You'll be pleased to know that the most important discussion in the United States of what must be called "liberal Christianity"—that is, a Christianity compatible with modern science—took place primarily in Chicago. The leader was Charles Harshorne. In 1928, Hartshorne came to the University of Chicago, where his courses attracted many students from the Divinity School. He denigrated the teachings of Plato and Aristotle regarding spiritual permanence and immutability, teachings that had led classical Christian theology to view divine reality as eternal, not temporal; spiritual, not material; causative, not affected by causes. In his early book The Divine Relativity (1948), he argued that God is open to influence, therefore changeable, not immutable. Man's Vision of God and the Logic of Theism (1964) attempted a compromise, arguing that God may be conceived as perfect and immutable in some respects but not in others. I don't want to go into the complicated minutia of all this, but I want you to note the dates of these two seminal books: two decades and four decades after Kazantzakis.

Another major figure in Chicago, Bernard M. Loomer, was dean of the Divinity School until 1954. Like Hartshorne, he dismissed the idea of a totally unchangeable, immutable, transcendent God and stressed the need for Christian faith to be compatible with science's view of universal evolution. Regarding the resurrection, for example, he taught that it must not be viewed as the physical revival of the man Jesus but rather as the continuation of God's power in Jesus even when evil seems victorious. This, by the way, is exactly what Kazantzakis is trying to tell us at the end of The Last Temptation of Christ.

So let's talk now about Kazantzakis, who was elaborating all these ideas in the early 1920s. The seminal book is his Askitiki, written in 1923. I could go through this treatise at some length, but I won't because (1) it is quite complicated and (2) I give a long explanation in my own book Kazantzakis: Politics of the Spirit, volume one. What I prefer to do, and what I think will be more effective from the lecture platform, is to quote passages from some of the letters Kazantzakis wrote while he was composing this book. I can do this because my current project is to prepare a volume of The Selected Letters of Kazantzakis, which will be published by Princeton University Press, probably in 2010. The letters are truly amazing. If you are at all interested in Kazantzakis, please be sure to treat yourself to this book.

Let me simply quote, without adding any comments. The quotes are self-explanatory. They are all from 1923, written either to his first wife, who remained in Athens while Kazantzakis was sojourning in Berlin, or to a childhood friend, Reverend Papastefanou, who had become a Greek Orthodox priest.

First of all we need clearly to set in order our relationship with science. That is the initial step.

My God is ... not pure, not spotless, not just, not omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent. He is not light. Struggling and toiling, he transubstantiates the night in his heart of hearts and turns it into light. He mounts virtue's ascent, panting. He cries out for help. He does not save us; we save him... . What does "we save him" mean? We save the eternal breath inside the ephemeral clay of our existence by transubstantiating matter, air, and water into spirit. We fabricate spirit from the materiality within this workshop of our body, liberating God.

When you wish to apprehend the features of our God, avoid whatever you learned about the Christian God. Our God is not all-good ... If he were, how could he feel pain, how could he struggle, how ascend?

I no longer possess the ... abstract meaning of God. My God ... struggles to escape his nastiness ... I feel this struggle of his inside me... . I experience all of his anguish. To the degree that I struggle, he struggles. To the degree that I ascend, he ascends.

God ... uses us, struggles through our bodies and brains, continually seeks to escape. How? To save himself, he has two great exits: sex and death. Urged by him, we transmit the spark of life—of his life—from son to son ...

This is strong stuff. No wonder that the Greek Orthodox Church tried to excommunicate Kazantzakis (it never did, actually). Let's sum all this up with part of a letter written later, in 1954, once again to Reverend Papstefanou:

The human being—and not only the human being but also the Universe—has a single purpose: to transubstantiate matter into spirit... . My particular path has been to ... save my soul by means of words—by writing. ... with the unshakeable faith that in this way I am collaborating with God.

I have passed through three great theological stages:
1. O God, you will save me.
2. O God, I will save you.
3. O God, working together we will be saved together.

Surely now you have some idea of Kazantzakis's liberal theology and also of his congruence with the Chicago school regarding religion and science, particularly Darwinian evolution, and therefore the refusal to continue to think of God in Platonic or Aristotelian terms as the unchanging, immutable "unmoved mover."

Where is this seen in Kazantzakis's works? There are lots of places, not just in The Last Temptation, which I'll come to eventually; not just in the marvelous novel called The Greek Passion in America but by its correct title, Christ Recrucified, in England, in which one priest, Fotis, represents motion and another, Grigoris, stagnation; not just, most extensively, in his gargantuan re-treatment of Homer's Odyssey in which his new Odysseus avoids stagnation by leaving Ithaca and Penelope after he slays the suitors, and then, in a new journey, evolves along Darwinian lines from matter to spirit.

These works are well known. But as early as 1908, when he was only twenty-five years old, Kazantzakis wrote an amazing one-act play that is not well known. It is sardonically entitled "Comedy" although it is actually a very tragic tragedy. The scene is a room filled with various people—young and old, cleric and lay—all of whom are about to die, whether from old age, accident, or illness. A row of candles is on a table. There is one door. All these moribundi are waiting for the door to open and Christ to enter and bring them to the everlasting life promised by Christianity. But of course the door does not open and Christ does not come. Soon their hope changes to panic and subsequently to a furor of indignation, until at the very end one of them, a Christian monk, an ascetic who had denied his flesh in the expectation of eternal reward, articulates the play's major theme as he screams at a crucifix: "You were a liar! Just a piece of wood!" He expects to be struck down by lightning for such blasphemy. When nothing happens, he shouts again, "Better the thunderbolt, better that the earth had split open and swallowed me, than this silence!" The coldness of death descends; the final candle gutters and dies, leaving the stage entirely dark. "Alas, ... he is not going to come," sighs a dying nun. "Who did you expect to come?" replies the monk sardonically with his penultimate breath, after which he laughs, "Ha! Ha! Ha!" and the unbearable farce draws to a close as all cross their arms and expire. Why is this horror called "Comedy"? Because, for Kazantzakis, the traditional belief in an afterlife is a ludicrous mockery.

He wrote another play called "Christ," also not well known. We're not sure when he wrote it—perhaps around 1915 in first draft—but we do know that he revised it in 1921. This work presents a post-Christian Christ—or, if you prefer, a liberal Christian Christ—who unites the hopes of the faithful with Darwinian scientific truth. The play ignites its fireworks at the very start. The setting is a monastic chapel on Mount Athos. A monk announces that everything now is going to be different, with Christ in his tomb shouting "Help!" Act One explains the crucifixion and resurrection. Christ is resurrected not by a supernatural Creator in heaven but instead by a natural creature on earth, and indeed by a particularly earthy one rooted in sexuality, the prime mover of human evolution. This is Mary Magdalene, who resurrects Jesus by believing in him with all her heart. Compare Bernard Loomer's teaching, cited earlier, that the resurrection must be viewed not as the physical revival of the man Jesus but rather as the continuation of God's power in him even when evil had seemed victorious. All this, by the way, places emphasis on the man Jesus, insisting here, as of course Kazantzakis does later in The Last Temptation, that Christ is fully human.

Act Two of the 1921 play reveals the new fully human Christ's program, which is for humans willingly to participate in evolution's essential mechanism: struggle. Kazantzakis elucidated this later in a newspaper article, saying: "Light is meaningless without darkness... . If the only things that existed were joy, justice, and reason, the soul would become immobile and would stagnate in comfortable, motionless happiness."12 We're continuing to get a preview of The Last Temptation. The preview is extended when, in the early play as in the later novel, Kazantzakis weds darkness to light by asserting that Jesus is incomplete without Judas. If the new Jesus is to be connected with Darwinian scientific reality, he must evolve, just as the universe does (according to Kazantzakis) from materiality to spirituality—must be liberated from his own materiality. This means, of course, that the traditional Christ of the Gospels must be seen very differently. In the play, Christ declares:

. . . I feel I am both
the crucified and the cross, the betrayer
and the women bringing myrrh, the thief who swore
on my left
and the other on my right, the good one, who lamented.
And I was the whole multitude that, infuriated,
was hoarsely barking "Let him be crucified!"
and I was also the angels who did not run to save me!

This infusion of matter into spirit—darkness into light, Judas into Jesus—enables Christ at the play's end to evolve into pure spirit. The union with materiality paradoxically produces the purgation of materiality.

Christ in the homonymous play now proceeds to instruct the (still uncomprehending) disciples in the "last things." After him, he informs the bewildered disciples, will come another, the Paraclete or Comforter, the Apostle John's name for the Holy Spirit. In John's Gospel, Christ promises to send the Comforter to the disciples after he—Christ—ascends to heaven. In Kazantzakis's play, the Paraclete is very different. As always, the disciples fail to understand. Who is this Paraclete? they wonder. How shall we recognize him? What is his name? And then Christ springs the surprise that Kazantzakis has been holding in abeyance: his name is Death!

This is at the heart of Kazantzakis's religious vision. What he is saying here (as elsewhere) is that the spirit (Jesus), which originally cried "Help," begging matter (Maria Magdalene in the play) to "resurrect him," must now escape matter. Pain and struggle finally lead the body to transcend itself by dying. Death, which might seem to negate all our striving unless "conquered" by an afterlife, is now seen as the fulfillment of our striving because it enables a newly disembodied spirit to cry "Help!" once again to matter, so that the evolutionary cycle may be renewed. Thus death in liberal Christianity is not an eternal state out of time; rather, it is the potentiality for renewed suffering in time.

The play concludes with a long speech in which Kazantzakis's view of Christ is summarized. The major points are the following:

  1. Christ is an idea produced by human evolution. Christ's "immortality" consists in the continuation of the Christ-idea by means of human devotion and love.
  2. Christ's passion is our passion, his suffering our suffering. Through him we see our own journey to theosis via materiality, our own overcoming of an otherwise ephemeral, futile existence once the traditional solace of an afterlife has been removed.
  3. God cries out to us for help. We can help God by loving and procreating (in our youth), by suffering (in our maturity), and by dying (in our senescence), all three of which enable us, through the body, to transcend the body—in other words, to evolve as the universe directs. Forgive me if all this sounds unreasonably complicated. It really is not, but it may seem so because it is quite different from traditional Christian theology. In any case, it is the basis of Kazantzakis's next to last treatment of the Jesus-theme, The Last Temptation of Christ. (His very last treatment, by the way, is the novel called Saint Francis in English translation.)

Earlier, I used some letters from 1923 to introduce the religious thinking that Kazantzakis's systematized in Askitiki. Well, there are also some very useful letters on The Last Temptation. He began the novel in November 1950 and finished it in July 1951. A few months later, in November 1951, he wrote to a friend: "I wanted to renew and replenish the Sacred Story on which the great Christian civilization of the West is based. It is not simply a ‘Life of Christ'. It is a persistent, holy, creative effort to flesh out Christ's essence anew, setting aside the corrosion, lies, and pettiness loaded upon him and overloaded upon him by all the churches and all the priests of Christendom". Two months later he spoke about the "persistence of the tiny Spark that is fighting to ... defeat ... Night; the struggle ... to transubstantiate darkness into light."16 Kazantzakis teaches that Christ, in order to pass from darkness into light, must refuse to act. But this comes at the end, not at the beginning. It is preceded by the seductive attractiveness of action, since (I hope you remember what Kazantzakis said in one of his letters) "we fabricate spirit from the materiality within [the] workshop of our body, liberating God." What this novel diagrams so clearly in Christ's ministry, passion, and crucifixion is Kazantzakis's faith that a loving, peaceful, non-divisive, non-material Kingdom will indeed come to pass—not because of the existence of some transcendental afterlife in which bliss is guaranteed but instead because of the evolutionary dynamic of matter itself: its momentum "upward" to its own annihilation—that is, its conversion into spirit. The Comforter, remember, is death! Kazantzakis's Christ, although knowing that he is not immortal, behaves as if he were immortal owing to his conviction that all materiality (including of course his own) willy-nilly serves something immaterial and immortal inherent in itself. This is how Kazantzakis reinterprets and redefines the traditional Christian challenge to us to attain theosis.

All that Kazantzakis was doing, really, was trying to offer a way to be religious in a world that can never be considered the same after Darwin. He was a prophet crying most of the time in the wilderness. No matter. Despite all the opposition, Kazantzakis's books do speak to religious seekers who are not straitjacketed by fundamentalism.

The book that probably does this best for most people is The Last Temptation, a perfect elaboration of the religious views I have been describing because the whole point of this book is to show Jesus' life as an evolving process that achieves full spirituality by dealing, paradoxically, with materiality. Those who condemn this novel seem to assume that Kazantzakis ought to have followed the Gospels in every respect. They are scandalized by innovations such as Jesus' sexual fantasies, Mary's hope that her son will remain a simple carpenter instead of becoming the Messiah, and Judas's role as a hero rather than a villain. On the other hand, Unitarian ministers, Quakers, and various other religious liberals loved these liberties because they made Jesus so human.

What I propose to elaborate for you are the novel's governing ideas. Fortunately, the late Eleni Kazantzaki allowed me to photocopy her husband's notebook in which he summarized his homework for this novel and entered various ideas concerning its composition. Right at the start of the notebook he inscribed a four-fold scheme that he eventually followed. The parts are labeled "Son of the Carpenter, Son of Man, Son of David, Son of God."

This is not the only scheme. Later, when he was summarizing his reading of various psychologists on the relation between religious behavior, sexuality, and the unconscious, he made another little chart, this time a three-fold one whose labels are: "individual unconscious (Freud), collective unconscious (Jung), universal unconscious (Christ)." This second scheme is particularly intriguing when we know that in March 1947 Kazantzakis wrote to a friend: "I also want to write a strange novel: ‘Jesus has been cured'." His aim was to satirize psychoanalysis. Some of this satire survives in The Last Temptation, as we shall see presently.

The three-fold scheme is one of the governing structures, although not so important as the four-fold scheme. Of the four stages, Son of the Carpenter is the easiest to explain. It stands for Jesus as an ordinary young man with the humble goals of earning a living, marrying, reproducing, and being respected in his community. What this adds up to is happiness—in particular, domestic happiness. Jesus' conflict at the start of his spiritual journey is between ordinariness and vocation: his desire to make his life happy versus his desire to make it meaningful. Kazantzakis wants us to choose meaningfulness, even if this path makes us unhappy.

The "human" side is best expressed by Jesus' mother, Mary. She wants her son to be like everyone else, "nothing more, nothing less... . Let him marry a nice young girl from a respectable home—with a dowry; let him ... have children, and then we'll all go out together every Saturday to the promenade—grandma, children, and grandchildren—so that everyone can admire us."18 Jesus, on the contrary, seems called to be "inhuman" even to the point of giving up sexuality. Seen in Freudian terms, to be "inhuman" is to move beyond the pleasure principle. Kazantzakis once related his religious quandaries to a famous disciple of Freud's, Dr. Wilhelm Stekel, who told him: "To search in order to find the world's beginning and end is a disease. The normal person lives, struggles, experiences joy and sorrow, gets married, has children, and does not waste his time in asking whence, whither, and why." Kazantzakis put Stekel into the novel in the person of Rabbi Simeon, whom Mary implores to cure her son Jesus so that Jesus may remain normal and happy. But Jesus is a tough case; despite everything, he seems driven to go beyond the pleasure principle, to be abnormal, unhappy, and (if you will) neurotic, even though he initially attempts to resist the call to spirituality. Simeon the psychoanalyst keeps trying to cure him. Just before Jesus reaches the watershed between ordinariness and vocation, he has what might be called a consultation with the old rabbi/analyst. Simeon encourages him to bring his sufferings into the light. When Jesus begins to rave about God, the good doctor cuts him short with "But there's only one thing I'd like to ask you: Jesus, have you ever slept with a woman?" Jesus answers in the negative. "And you don't want to?" probes our Freudian, since his wisdom tells him that religious fanatics need only marry and they will grow calm. The same wisdom is expressed with lots of salt later when Jesus is traveling the length and breadth of Israel with his disciplines, preaching unity. He is observed by an old fisherman: "This is what happens to those who don't get married... . The sperm rises to their heads and attacks their brains."

So much for Son of the Carpenter. Son of Man is more difficult to explain. Yet it is not so difficult as soon as we realize that Kazantzakis took the rubric from the biblical prophecy of Daniel (7: 13–14):

I saw in the night visions,
and behold, ... there came one like a son of man
... ... ... ... ... ... . .
and to him was given dominion
and glory and kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him... . . (RSV)

The son of man, although a man, is the opposite of everything ordinary. Indeed, he is the Messiah leading all peoples, nations, and languages to the everlasting kingdom of God. That Kazantzakis had Daniel in mind is incontrovertible. In his background reading, he encountered Ernest Renan's assertion that Daniel "furnished ... the technical terms of the new messianism." This is Jesus's second stage in his Darwinian evolution from happiness to meaningfulness. As son of man, he has ascended from ordinariness to vocation; instead of toiling for himself, he toils for the salvation of everyone. He has passed from Freud's individual unconscious to Jung's collective unconscious.

The third stage, Son of David, seems a retreat rather than an advance. The reason is that Jesus displays a more limited vocation at this stage than he did before. Instead of urging everyone into a peaceful unity to be realized beyond the grave, he now preaches war and hatred in the name of Jewish nationalism. What he is advocating is the revolutionary politics favored by Judas. Like his infamous disciple, he determines to employ materialistic means—hate, divisiveness, and violence—to achieve spiritual ends. If we do not know Kazantzakis's central philosophy about moving toward the spiritual via the material, we will suspect that he is making his hero go backwards instead of forwards. What are we to think, for example, of Jesus's second sermon on the mount, in which he is no longer a lamb bleating "blessed are the peacemakers" but instead a lion that roars: "Love comes only after the flames. First this world will be reduced to ashes and then God will plant his new vineyard. There is no better fertilizer than ashes." Judas is delighted. But are we? Can we accept a Jesus who wishes to employ evil in order to destroy evil?

I believe that the answer lies in the relationship between Judas and Jesus. Jesus accepts Judas because Judas projects Jesus' own demonic nature. This is implicit in all the dreams in the novel; it becomes explicit at one point when Jesus hears Judas's leonine voice in his dream saying that it is "the deepest voice of your own deepest self." Now we can begin to understand why Kazantzakis so naughtily alters the biblical precedent in order to turn Judas into a hero. Jesus must embrace Judas and love him because this is the outward sign of his ability to embrace and love his own demonic depths. He had set out to call good and bad people alike into unity by preaching love. At the same time, precisely because he had spurned hate, he himself could not come into unity. Paradoxically, in order to earn the right to preach integration, he must integrate his own angelic and devilish sides. Only when this vitalizing integration is accomplished can Jesus advance to the final stage in his spiritual evolution, Son of God.

In this fourth and final stage, Kazantzakis is presumably thinking of the definition given by Saint Paul in Romans 1:4, where we read that Jesus was "designated Son of God in power ... by his resurrection from the dead." Son of God is the post-mortem stage, achieved only in death. In the novel's penultimate section (before the dream of the last four chapters that constitutes the last temptation), Jesus wants to be killed. He directs the centurion: "If they seize me, if they put me in prison, if they kill me—do nothing to save me." Jesus' previous failures have prepared him for the final stage in his evolutionary journey: abdication, the refusal to act. At the earlier stage, failure of his pacifistic spirituality led to political militancy. Now, failure of political militancy leads to abdication, by which he achieves the greatest degree of integration that we have seen so far, since by willing his own crucifixion with Judas's help he brings into the service of the good the most horrendous of all the devil's instruments, death itself, in order to achieve the victory of unified spirit over fragmented matter.

In evolving from Son of David to Son of God he advances from a political conviction to an eschatological one: an infinite hope that goodness will be established at some undefined moment in the future. Jesus, after being repeatedly wounded on the materialistic battleground of human experience, arrives at a non-materialistic serenity no longer threatened. He reaches a consciousness no longer individual or even collective but universal.

In the novel's prologue, this final stage is called "union with God." But since Kazantzakis does not believe in a traditional God and is not a traditional Christian, we need to interpret his statement. Union with God, for him, means union with the immaterial potentiality that re-creates the Darwinian evolution of materiality. We have seen that, in order to become Son of God in this final stage, Jesus wills his own dematerialization. He starts with a total concern for the body (marrying, reproducing, being ordinary). From this he moves to a lesser concern for the body: to a life in which individual well-being is swept up into collective need and in which material concerns are replaced by ethical commitments and principles that, although spiritual, must be realized through materiality. Finally, he proceeds to the total renunciation of body. The important thing, as I tried to make clear at the beginning, is change. Kazantzakis gives us a Christ compatible with contemporary scientific reality.

This agreement with contemporary reality was his primary desire, a desire evident in all his writings and based upon a philosophy formulated by Kazantzakis way ahead of his time, decades before its systematization by the theological professors in Chicago.


  1. Aristotle, Physics VIII.6.260a: κινούν μεν τι ακίνητον δε αυτό και αΐδιον ... (causing motion but itself unmoved and eternal).
  2. Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology (New York: Macmillan, 1929), p. 520. Cited in Clinton C. Gardner, Beyond Belief: Discovering Christianity's New Paradigm (White River Junction, Vermont: White River Press, 2008), pp. 196–197.
  3. Gary Dorrien, The Making of American Liberal Theology: Crisis, Irony, and Postmodernity, 1950–2005 (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006), p. 87.
  4. To Papastefanou (unpublished), early spring 1923.
  5. To Papastefanou (unpublished), January 1923.
  6. To Papastefanou (unpublished), Autumn 1923.
  7. Letter to Galatea Alexiou-Kazantzaki, October 1923. Νίκος Καζαντζάκης, Επιστολές προς Γαλάτεια (Αθήνα: Δίφρος, 1984), p. 222–223. Nikos Kazantzakis, The Suffering God: Selected Letters to Galatea and to Papastephanou (New Rochelle, NY: Caratzas, 1979), p. 101.
  8. Letter to Papastefanou. Κυρ. Μητσοτάκης, Ο Καζαντζάκης μιλεί για Θεό (Αθήνα: Μινώας, 1972), p. 84.
  9. Letter to Papastefanou. Mitsotakis, p. 23.
  10. "Κωμωδία—Τραγωδία μονόπραχτη", Νέα Εστία, τομ. 63 (15 April 1958), pp. 616–625. Two Plays by Nikos Kazantzakis: "Sodom and Gomorrah" and "Comedy" (Saint Paul, Minnesota: North Central Publishing Company, 1982).
  11. Νίκος Καζαντζάκης, "Χριστός", Θέατρο: Τραγωδίες με Βυζαντινά θέματα (Αθήνα: Δίφρος, 1956), pp. 9–121.
  12. "Το κοινωνικόν πρόβλημα", Νέα Εφημερίς (Ιράκλιο), 22 February, 1925, p. 1; Mitsotakis, p. 129.
  13. Christos, p. 111.
  14. Christos, p. 118.
  15. Letter to Börje Knös, 13 November 1951. Ελένη Ν. Καζαντζάκη, Νίκος Καζαντζάκης ο ασυμβίβαστος (Αθήνα: Ελένη Ν. Καζαντζάκη, 1977), p. 591.
  16. Letter to Börje Knös, 4 January 1952. "Ανέκδοτα γράμματα του Ν. Καζαντζάκη στον Β. Knös", Νέα Εστία, Χριστούγεννα 1977, p. 302.
  17. Letter to Tea Anemoyanni, Ηώς VII (1964), p. 493.
  18. Νίκος Καζαντζάκης, Ο τελευταίος πειρασμός (Αθήνα: Δίφρος, 1955), p. 65. Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), p. 64.
  19. Νίκος Καζαντζάκης, Αναφορά στον Γκρέκο (Αθήνα), p. 425. Nikos Kazantzakis, Report to Greco (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965), p. 355.
  20. Τελευταίος Πειρασμός, p. 145. Last Temptation, p. 146.
  21. Τελευταίος Πειρασμός, p. 344. Last Temptation, p. 343–344.
  22. Ernest Renan, Vie de Jésus, 2nd edition (Paris: Michel Lévy, 1863), p. 15. The Life of Jesus (New York: Carleton, 1864), pp. 61–62.
  23. Τελευταίος Πειρασμός, p. 354–355. Last Temptation, p. 354
  24. Τελευταίος Πειρασμός, p. 259. Last Temptation, p. 260.
  25. Τελευταίος Πειρασμός, p. 380. Last Temptation, p. 381.
  26. Τελευταίος Πειρασμός, p. 387. Last Temptation, p. 387.
  27. Nicolas Berdyaev, The Beginning and the End: Essay on Eschatological Metaphysics (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1952), p. 239.
  28. Darren J. N. Middleton, Theology After Reading: Christian Imagination and the Power of Fiction (Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2008), p. 105.

Iraklio, Crete, October 2008
Hanover, New Hampshire, November 2008

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Peter Bien