13 March 2007

The Last Temptation Of Christ

The Last Temptation Of Christ
Director Martin Scorsese's film The Last Temptation Of Christ begins with a written disclaimer that it is based on the fictional events in Nikos Kazantzakis's novel, and not on the Gospels.

The last temptation of the title refers to the devil's temptation of Jesus on the cross, offering him the chance to live a normal life with a wife and children, renouncing the burden of redeption. Jesus is deceived by Satan, and we see him having sex with Mary Magdalene. This image caused fierce protests around the world when the film was originally released, though the film makes clear that it's only a dream.

Jesus has been represented as sexually active in a 19th Century illustration of a naked Theresa embracing Christ on the cross by Felicien Rops, the engraving Nuptials Of God (the church symbolised by a naked bride, kissing Christ on the cross; 1923) by Eric Gill, the novel The Escaped Cock (describing Christ's sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene, 1929) by DH Lawrence, and the film Jesus Vender Tilbage by Jens Jorgen Thorsen (1992). Bill Zebub's films Into Thy Hands (advertised as Jesus Christ: Serial Rapist, 2004) and The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made (2005) both feature Jesus as a rapist.

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