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Christ Recrucified Paperback – January 3, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nikos Kazantzakis was born in 1883 in Herakleion on the island of Crete. During the Cretan revolt of 1897 his family was sent to the island of Naxos, where he attended the French School of the Holy Cross. From 1902 to 1906 he studied law at Athens University. He worked first as a journalist and throughout a long career wrote several plays, travel journals and translations. His remarkable travels began in 1907 and there were few countries in Europe or Asia that he didn't visit. He studied Buddhism in Vienna and later belonged to a group of radical intellectuals in Berlin, where he began his great epic The Odyssey, which he completed in 1938. He didn't start writing novels until he was almost 60 and completed his most famous work, Zorba the Greek, in 1946. Other novels include Freedom and Death (1953) and The Last Temptation (1954), which the Vatican placed on the Index. Return to Greco, an autobiographical novel, was published in 1961.Nikos Kazantzakis finally settled in Antibes with his second wife, and died there from leukaemia in October 1957. He is buried at Herakleion, where the epitaph on his tomb reads: 'I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free'.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (January 3, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571190219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571190218
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #808,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By John Nordin on April 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
As far as depictions of the life of Christ, "Christ Recrucified" (also published as "The Greek Passion") is far superior to the better known "Last Temptation of Christ" by the same author.

This novel is set in a little Greek village during the time of the Turkish occupation. Starting with the assignment of roles of villagers to play in the annual passion play, the novel turns into a real passion play.

The village elders, a dismal lot of overfed, oppressive, back- biting types, pick various villagers to play roles in the once- every-seven-years passion play. However, Manolios (chosen to be Christ for his gentle looks) and three friends, chosen as apostles, are humbled by the honor and inspired to begin to struggle with God's will. The crisis is provided by a band of refugees from another village. Run out by the Turks, they seek sanctuary in this village only to be refused both land and food by the village elders who fear their corrupting influence and the loss of revenue. The contradiction between the words of Christ, and the actions of those who claim leadership of the church and the village lead Manolios and his friends to ask dangerous questions. The elders, as elders tend to do, are reluctant to give up any power, and not inclined to accept theological analysis from those who they command. Eventually, the passion is acted out for real, with Manolios accused of treason and the sleepy Turkish overlord acting the part of Pilate to perfection.

Liberation Theology is a term we associate with the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America, but I would suggest that this work, dating from 1953, has anticipated the movement in amazing detail. Such standard concepts of Liberation Theology as "the preferential option for the poor," "base communities," reading the Bible out of experience rather than theology, and so forth, are portrayed here as Manolios and his friends struggle with what God has to say to them.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By martin on April 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Brilliant! The only book ever that I couldn't put down after starting. I read it over 14 hours in one sitting and the only thing that eclipsed the sensations the novel instilled in me was the epic thought that I had really, truly and for the first time read a book that physically, emotionally, intellectually drew me in so much that I couldn't put it down. Unputdownable? I can't get the thing out of my head! Like all Kazantzakis' novels the characters are drawn so roundly that you begin to cheer and seethe when they make an entrance. Really fully formed people inhabit this story - and what a story it is. A passion play takes on a mind of its own when the characters in character for the play begin to lose their grip on what is real and what is imaginary. It is explosive, sad, thrilling, genuinely laugh out loud funny, desperate, tragic, joyous. A wonderful book. Clips by a hair, the great Zorba. Now someone should make a movie out of this one.....
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. G Jackson on May 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
A perfect novel and not to be missed.

Profound, harrowing, and bursting with the fullness of the human heart-- also boisterous, merry, and bitingly satiric.

And Unceasingly Entertaining.

The year leading up to Easter week and the performance of the town's Passion Play finds the people of this Ottoman-occupied Greek village becoming transformed by Christ's story, as author Kazantzakis' novel encapsules the very history of the Christian Church.

His is a fiercely nature-centric vision of Man's rude and clamorous confrontation with the struggle for right-ness, for rightousness in the face of smothering societal hypocrisy.

Funny and sardonic, shocking and brutal, and often deeply beautiful, Christ Recrucified get's my highest recommendation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Marouchos on July 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Following the tradition of his previous efforts, Kazantzakis here once again exemplifies the very tragedy of human nature through his allegory of Christ's crucifixion. This literary drama takes place in a remote Greek village where upon a group of wandering populace, who have lost their homes due to an invasion stumble, and come into conflict with the locals there. The story revolves around the dissonance between the affluent villagers and the down-trodden, starving wanderers. The key figure is Manolios, the son of the village's leader here who as the story unravels he slowly metamorphosises from a local childlike village boy into the figure of martyrdom that essentially symbolises Jesus Christ. Representing each camp are two orthodox priests who are antithetical in their demeanour and attitude. Papa-Fotis who is the priest leading the wanderers is a lean, poignant figure; disillusioned by the hardships of the world his ordained position as a priest takes on a tragic sense. It becomes apparent throughout the story that his tenacity lays more in a faith in Man rather than in an all-powerful Deity who will set things aright. Kazantzakis is quite known for his keenness in personalising intimate emotions and desires in key characters of his works. Here the sin of greed takes the form of an old loan shark who literally starves himself lest he spends money, the sin of pride takes the form of the stout, self-righteous priest of the village while the sin of envy takes the form of a man who is so overrun by enmity for Manolios in the end he will doom an entire village to see him perish. Manolios here is in constant torment, he denounces all worldly pleasures as he feels himself destined to martyrdom, an almost sacred debt he has been bestowed with.Read more ›
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