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The Last Temptation of Christ

The Last Temptation of Christ
Author: Nikos Kazantzakis
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 512
Release: 2012-03-20
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1439144583

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The internationally renowned novel about the life and death of Jesus Christ. Hailed as a masterpiece by critics worldwide, The Last Temptation of Christ is a monumental reinterpretation of the Gospels that brilliantly fleshes out Christ’s Passion. This literary rendering of the life of Jesus Christ has courted controversy since its publication by depicting a Christ far more human than the one seen in the Bible. He is a figure who is gloriously divine but earthy and human, a man like any other—subject to fear, doubt, and pain. In elegant, thoughtful prose Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the greats of modern literature, follows this Jesus as he struggles to live out God’s will for him, powerfully suggesting that it was Christ’s ultimate triumph over his flawed humanity, when he gave up the temptation to run from the cross and willingly laid down his life for mankind, that truly made him the venerable redeemer of men. “Spiritual dynamite.” —San Francisco Chronicle “A searing, soaring, shocking novel.” —Time


The Innkeeper

The Innkeeper
Author: John Piper
Publisher: Crossway
Total Pages: 38
Release: 2011-09-14
Genre: Religion
ISBN: 1433530287

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Only two weeks from his crucifixion, Jesus has stopped in Bethlehem. He has returned to visit someone important—the innkeeper who made a place for Mary and Joseph the night he was born. But his greater purpose in coming is to pay a debt. What did it cost to house the Son of God? John Piper shares a tale of what might have been through the story-poem of an innkeeper whose life was forever altered by the arrival of the Son of God. Ponder the sacrifice that was made that night. Celebrate Jesus's birth and the power of his resurrection. And encounter the hope his life gives you for today—and for eternity. This imaginative story has been redesigned and makes a great gift for families.


Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese
Author: Martin Scorsese
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
Total Pages: 316
Release: 1999
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9781578060726

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Collected interviews with the man who has been called the greatest living American film director


Film, Faith, and Cultural Conflict

Film, Faith, and Cultural Conflict
Author: Robin Riley
Publisher: Praeger
Total Pages: 168
Release: 2003-09-30
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
ISBN:

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Scorsese's 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ arguably generated more resistance and conflict upon its release than any film before or since, engendering intense debate and even hatred between religious conservative protesters and liberal progressive defenders of the picture. This is the first full examination of the controversy, its participants, and their claims concerning the film's religious meaning. This debate reflects deep levels of social and cultural insecurity produced by the shifting role of religion and religious language in an increasingly secularized society, and demonstrates how a popular film about Jesus captured, inflamed, and strengthened existing animosities. Providing new insights into film's significance as an indicator of the changing relationship between secular and religious domains, the work offers a thorough and fascinating historical analysis of the various interpretations of Last Temptation and its reception.


The Sixteen Pleasures

The Sixteen Pleasures
Author: Robert Hellenga
Publisher: Delta
Total Pages: 386
Release: 1995-05-01
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0385314698

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Chapter One Where I Want to Be I was twenty-nine years old when the Arno flooded its banks on Friday 4 November 1966. According to the Sunday New York Times the damage wasn't extensive, but by Monday it was clear that Florence was a disaster. Twenty feet of water in the cloisters of Santa Croce, the Cimabue crucifix ruined beyond hope of restoration, panels ripped from the Baptistry doors, the basement of the Biblioteca Nazionale completely underwater, hundreds of thousands of volumes waterlogged, the Archivio di Stato in total disarray. On Tuesday I decided to go to Italy, to offer my services as a humble book conservator, to help in any way I could, to save whatever could be saved, including myself. The decision wasn't a popular one at home. Papa was having money troubles of his own and didn't want to pay for a ticket. And my boss at the Newberry Library didn't understand either. He already had his ticket, paid for by the library, and needed me to mind the store. There wasn't any point in both of us going, was there? "The why don't I go and you can mind the store?" "Because, because, because . . ." "Yes?" Because it just didn't make sense. He couldn't see his way clear to granting me a leave of absence, not even a leave of absence without pay. He even suggested that the library might have to replace me, in which case . . . But I decided to go anyway. I had enough money in my savings account for a ticket on Icelandic, and I figured I could live on the cheap once I got there. Besides, I wanted to break the mold in which my life was hardening, and I thought this might be a way to do it. Going to Florence was better than waiting around with nothing coming up. My English teacher at Kenwood High used to say that we're like onions: you can peel off one layer after another and never get to a center, an inner core. You just run out of layers. But I think I'm like a peach or an apricot or a nectarine. There's a pit at the center. I can crack my teeth on it, or I can suck on it like a piece of candy; but it won't crumble, and it won't dissolve. The pit is an image of myself when I was nineteen. I'm in Sardegna, and I'm standing high up on a large rock–a cliff, actually–and I don't have any clothes on, and everyone is looking at me, telling me to come down, not to jump, it's too high. It's my second time in Italy. I spent a year here with Mama when I was fifteen, and then I came back by myself, after finishing high school at home, to do the last year of the liceo with my former classmates. Now we're celebrating the end of our examinations–Silvia (who spent a year with us in Chicago), Claudia, Rossella, Giulio, Fabio, Alessandro. Names like flowers, or bells. And me, Margot Harrington. More friends are coming later. Silvia's parents (my host family) have a summer house just outside Terranova, but we're camping on the beach, five kilometers down the coast. The coast is safe, they say, though there are bandits in the centro. Wow! It's my birthday–August first–and we've had a supper of bluefish and squid that we caught with a net. The squid taste like rubber bands, the heavy kind that I used to chew on in grade school and that boys sometimes used to snap our bottoms with in junior high. Life is sharp and snappy, too, full of promise, like the sting of those rubber bands: I've passed my examinations with distinction; I'm going to Harvard in the fall (well, to Radcliffe); I've got an Italian boyfriend named Fabio Fabbriani; and I've just been skinny-dipping in the stinging cold salt sea. The others have put their clothes on now–I can see them below me, sitting around the remains of the fire in shorts and halter tops and shirts with the sleeves rolled up two turns, talking, glancing up nervously–but I want to savor the taste/thrill of my own nakedness a little longer, unembarrassed in the dwindling light. It's the scariest thing I've ever done, except coming to Italy in the first place. Fabio sits with his back toward me while he smokes a cigarette, pretending to be angry because I won't come down, but when I close my eyes and will him to turn, he puts his cigarette out in the sand and turns. Just at that moment I jump, sucking in my breath for a scream but then holding it, in case I need it latter, which I do. I hit the Tyrrhenian Sea feet first, generating little waves that will, in theory, soon be lapping the beaches along the entire western coast of Italy–Sicily and North Africa, too. The Tyrrhenian Sea responds by closing over me and it's pitch, not like the pool in Chicago where I learned to swim, but deep and dark and dangerous and deadly. The air in my lungs–the scream and I saved for just such an occasion–carries me up to the surface, and I strike out for the cove, meeting Fabio before I'm halfway there, wondering if like me he's naked under the water and not knowing for sure till we're walking waist deep and he takes me by the shoulders and kisses me and I can feel something bobbing against my legs like a floating cork. We haven't made love yet, but it's won't be long now. O dio mio. The waiting is so lovely. He squeezes my buns and I squeeze his, surprised, and then we splash in to the beach and put on our clothes. What I didn't know at the time was that my mother had become seriously ill. Instead of spending the rest of the summer in Sardegna, I had to go back to Chicago, and then, after that, nothing happened. I mean none of the things I'd expected to happen happened. Instead of making love with Fabio Fabbriani on the verge of the Tyrrhenian Sea, I got laid on a vinyl sofa in the back room of the SNCC headquarters on Forty-seventh Street. Instead of going to Harvard, I went to Edgar Lee Masters College, where Mama had taught art history for twenty years. Instead of going to graduate school I spent two years at the Institute for Paper Technology on Green Bay Avenue; instead of becoming a research chemist I apprenticed myself to a book conservator in Hyde Park and then took a position in the conservation department of the Newberry Library. Instead of getting married and having a daughter of my own, I lived at home and looked after Mama, who was dying of lung cancer. A year went by, two years, three years, four. Mama died; Papa lost most of his money. My sister Meg got married and moved away; my sister Molly went to California with her boyfriend and then to Ann Arbor. The sixties were churning around me, and I couldn't seem to get a footing. I tried to plunge in, to get wet, to catch hold, to find a place in one of the boats tossing and turning on the white-water rapids: the sit-ins, the rock concerts, the freedom rides, SNCC, CORE, SDS, the Civil Rights Act, the Great Society. I spent a lot of time holding hands and singing "We shall overcome," I spent a lot of time buying coffee and doughnuts and rolling joints, and I spent some time on my back, too–the only position for a woman in the Movement. I'd had no sleep on the plane; my eyes were blurry so it was hard to read; and besides, the story I was reading was as depressing as the view from the window of the train–flat, gray, poor, dreary, actively ugly rather than passively uninteresting. And I kept thinking about Papa and his money troubles and his lawsuits, and about the embroidered seventeenth-century prayer books on my work table at the Newberry that needed to be disbound, washed, mended, and resewn before Christmas for an exhibit sponsored by the Caxton Club. So I was under a certain amount of pressure. I was looking for a sign, the way some religious people look for signs, something to let them know they're on the right track. Or on the wrong track, in which case they can turn back. I didn't know what I was looking for, but I was trying to pay attention, to notice everything–the faces of the two American women sitting opposite me in the compartment, scribbling furiously in their notebooks; the Neapolitan accent of the Italian conductor; the depressing French farmhouses, gray boxes of stucco or cinder block, I couldn't make out which. That's what I was doing–paying attention–when the train pulled into the station at Metz and I saw the Saint-Cyr cadet on the platform, bright as the Archangel Gabriel bringing the good news to the Virgin Mary. I'd better explain. Papa did all the cooking in our family. He started when Mama went to Italy one summer when I was nine–it was right after the war–to look at the pictures, to see for herself what she'd only seen in the Harvard University Prints series and on old three-by-four-inch tinted slides that she used to project on the dining room wall; and when she came back he kept on doing it. My sisters and I did the dishes and Papa took care of everything else, day in and day out, and whether it was Italian or French or Chinese or Malaysian, it was always wonderful, it was always special. Penne alla puttanesca, an arista tied with sprigs of rosemary, paper-thin strips of beef marinated in hoisin sauce and Szechwan peppercorns, whole fresh salmon poached in white wine and finished with a mustard sauce, chicken thighs simmered in soy sauce and lime juice, curries so fiery that at their first bite unwary guests would clutch their throats and cry out for water, which didn't help a bit. Those were our favorites, the standards against which we measured other dishes; but our very favorite treat of all was the dessert Papa made on our birthdays, instead of cake, which was supposed to look like the hats worn by cadets at Saint-Cyr, the French military academy. We'd never been to Saint-Cyr, of course, but we would have recognized a cadet anywhere in the world, if he'd been wearing his hat. That's why I was so startled when I looked out the window of the Luxembourg-Venise Express and saw my cadet standing there on the platform–the young man Papa had teased me about, the Prince Charming who had never materialized. He was holding a suitcase in one hand and shifting his weight back and forth from one foot to the other, as if he had to go to the bathroom, and his parents were talking at him so intensely that I thought for a minute he was going to miss the train. And his hat! I couldn't believe it was a real hat and not a frozen mousse of chocolate and egg whites and whipped cream with squiggly Italian meringues running up and down the sides for braids. That hat stirred something inside me, made me feel I was doing the right thing and that I ought to keep going, that things would work out. Just to make sure I closed my eyes and willed him into the compartment, just as I had once willed Fabio Fabbriani to turn and watch me plunge feet first into the sea. As I was willing him into the compartment I was willing the American women out of it–not making my cadet's appearance contingent on their departure, however, because I was pretty sure they weren't going to budge. I kept my face down in my book and waited, eyes closed lightly, listening to the noises in the corridor. I was, I suppose, still operating, at least subconsciously, on a fairy-tale model of reality: I was Sleeping Beauty, or Snow White, waiting for some prince whose romantic kisses would awaken my full feelings, liberate my story senses, emancipate my drowsy and constrained imagination, take me back to that last Italian summer. The train was already in motion when the door of the compartment finally opened. I kept my eyes closed another two seconds and then looked up at–not my Prince Charming but the Neapolitan conductor, an old man so frail I'd had to help him hoist the American women's mammoth suitcases onto the overhead luggage rack. These suitcases were to luggage what Burberrys are to rainwear–lots of extra pockets and straps and mysterious zippers concealed under flaps. I asked him about the Saint-Cyr cadet. "The next compartment," he said. "Not your type. Too young. You need an older man like me." "You're already married." He shrugged, putting his whole body into it, arms, hands, shoulders, head cocked, stomach pulled in. "Better tell your friends"–we were speaking in Italian–"that the dining car will be taken off the train before we cross the border. You need to reserve a seat early." I nodded. "Unless," he went on, "they have those valises stuffed with American food. Porcamattina." He glanced upward at the suitcases, tapped his cheekbone with an index finger and was gone. I felt for these American women some of the mixed feelings that the traveler feels for the tourist. On the one hand you want to help, to show off your knowledge; on the other you don't want to get involved. I didn't want to get involved. They weren't my type. These were saltwater women–sailors, golfers, tennis players, clubwomen with suntans in November, large limbed, confident, conspicuous, firm, trim, sleek as walruses in their worsted wool suits. They reminded me of the Gold Coast women who used to show up around the edges of CORE demonstrations, with their checkbooks open, telling us how much they admired what we were doing, and how they wished they could help more. All fucked up ideologically, according to our leaders at SNCC: "They think their shit don't stink." As far as they knew, I was a scruffy little Italian–I hadn't spoken a word of English in their presence, and I was reading an Italian novel–and it was too late to undeceive them. I had heard too much. I knew, for example, that they'd met the previous summer at some kind of writing workshop at Johns Hopkins University and that they'd both jumped into the sack with their instructor, a novelist named Philip. I knew that Philip was bald but well hung ("like a shillelagh"). I knew that neither of them had done it dog fashion BP ("before Philip") and that they were traveling second class because Philip had told them they'd get more material that way for the stories they were going to write now that they were divorced. Part of their agenda, I gathered, was to notice things, to pay attention. Maybe they were looking for signs, too, maybe not; in either case they seemed to be trying to impress the details of European railroad travel onto the pages of their marbled composition books by sheer physical force. Nothing escaped their notice, not even the signs, in French, German and Italian, warning passengers not to throw things out the window and not to pull the cord on the signal d'alarme. All the details went into their notebooks–the fine of not less than 5,000 FF, the prison term of not less than one year. And when one noticed something, the other did, too: the instructions on the window latch, the way the armrests worked, the captions on the faded views of Chartres Cathedral that hung on the walls of the compartment above the backs of the seats. (I was tempted to look at them myself, but I didn't want to give myself away or interrupt their game.) I kept my nose in my book–Natalia Ginzburg's Lessico famigliare. It was a strenuous hour, and I was glad when, simultaneously, panting like dogs after a good run, they closed their notebooks and resumed their conversation.


Hollywood Under Siege

Hollywood Under Siege
Author: Thomas R Lindlof
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Total Pages: 407
Release: 2008-08-08
Genre: Performing Arts
ISBN: 0813173167

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In 1988, director Martin Scorsese fulfilled his lifelong dream of making a film about Jesus Christ. Rather than celebrating the film as a statement of faith, churches and religious leaders immediately went on the attack, alleging blasphemy. At the height of the controversy, thousands of phone calls a day flooded the Universal switchboard, and before the year was out, more than three million mailings protesting the film fanned out across the country. For the first time in history, a studio took responsibility for protecting theaters and scrambled to recruit a "field crisis team" to guide The Last Temptation of Christ through its contentious American openings. Overseas, the film faced widespread censorship actions, with thirteen countries eventually banning the film. The response in Europe turned violent when opposition groups sacked theaters in France and Greece and caused injuries to dozens of moviegoers. Twenty years later, author Thomas R. Lindlof offers a comprehensive account of how this provocative film came to be made and how Universal Pictures and its parent company MCA became targets of the most intense, unremitting attacks ever mounted against a media company. The film faced early and determined opposition from elements of the religious Right when it was being developed at Paramount during the last year the studio was run by the celebrated troika of Barry Diller, Michael Eisner, and Jeffrey Katzenberg. By the mid-1980s, Scorsese's film was widely regarded as unmakeable—a political stick of dynamite that no one dared touch. Through the joint efforts of two of the era's most influential executives, CAA president Michael Ovitz and Universal Pictures chairman Thomas P. Pollock, this improbable project found its way into production. The making of The Last Temptation of Christ caught evangelical Christians at a moment when they were suffering a crisis of confidence in their leadership. The religious right seized on the film as a way to rehabilitate its image and to mobilize ordinary citizens to attack liberalism in art and culture. The ensuing controversy over the film's alleged blasphemy escalated into a full-scale war fought out very openly in the media. Universal/MCA faced unprecedented calls for boycotts of its business interests, anti-Semitic rhetoric and death threats were directed at MCA chairman Lew Wasserman and other MCA executives, and the industry faced the specter of violence at theaters. Hollywood Under Siege draws upon interviews with many of the key figures—Martin Scorsese, Paul Schrader, Michael Ovitz, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jack Valenti, Thomas P. Pollock, and Willem Dafoe—to explore the trajectory of the film from its conception to the subsequent epic controversy and beyond. Lindlof offers a fascinating dissection of a critical episode in the embryonic culture wars, illuminating the explosive effects of the clash between the interests of the media industry and the forces of social conservatism.


The Work of Christ

The Work of Christ
Author: R. C. Sproul
Publisher: David C Cook
Total Pages: 224
Release: 2012-06-01
Genre: Religion
ISBN: 1434704947

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“The work of Jesus reveals to us who He is. The work and the person may be distinguished but never separated.”—Dr. R. C. Sproul Most Christians recognize the importance of Christ’s death and resurrection. But how many of us understand the theological significance of Jesus’ actions before and after the Crucifixion? In The Work of Christ, Dr. R. C. Sproul looks at every aspect of Jesus’ life and work, addressing such life-changing topics as:Why Jesus’ baptism is relevant for our salvationThe similarities and differences between the temptation of the first Adam and the temptation of Jesus, the “second Adam”How God uses song to celebrate his redemptive actsWhy the Last Supper marks the beginning of a greater exodus than that of the Old TestamentHow Jesus’ death and resurrection are grounded in the eternal covenant among the persons of the TrinityWhy Jesus’ ascension makes a difference in our lives todayWhat we know and don’t know about Jesus’ returnMoving from Jesus’ existence from before creation through His incarnation, boyhood, adulthood, death, resurrection, and return, Dr. Sproul guides you to a deeper understanding of God’s beautiful promise and purpose behind the works of Christ’s life.


Holy Bible (NIV)

Holy Bible (NIV)
Author: Various Authors,
Publisher: Zondervan
Total Pages: 6637
Release: 2008-09-02
Genre: Bibles
ISBN: 0310294142

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The NIV is the world's best-selling modern translation, with over 150 million copies in print since its first full publication in 1978. This highly accurate and smooth-reading version of the Bible in modern English has the largest library of printed and electronic support material of any modern translation.


Revelation

Revelation
Author:
Publisher: Canongate Books
Total Pages: 60
Release: 1999-01-01
Genre: Bibles
ISBN: 0857861018

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The final book of the Bible, Revelation prophesies the ultimate judgement of mankind in a series of allegorical visions, grisly images and numerological predictions. According to these, empires will fall, the "Beast" will be destroyed and Christ will rule a new Jerusalem. With an introduction by Will Self.


Pontius Pilate

Pontius Pilate
Author: Roger Caillois
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Total Pages: 164
Release: 2006
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780813925516

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Roger Caillois, 1913-1978, philosopher, writer, and Académie française laureate, was the author of numerous works of anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, art, and literary criticism, and the cofounder, with Georges Bataille, of France's College of Sociology for the Study of the Sacred. Ivan Strenski is Professor and Holstein Endowed Chairholder in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside, and the author or editor of several works, including Contesting Sacrifice and Thinking about Religion.