14 Dec 2022
The LAst Temptation of Christ
Featuring Matt Page
On a cold Parisian night in October 1988, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the St. Michel cinema, seriously injuring thirteen people; it was just one of a number of violent protests against Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ. What was it about this film that caused so much anger? What was behind the uproar it inspired worldwide? In this episode we revisit and rethink the controversy, and ask: Was the outrage warranted, or is the film actually a deeply pious and personal exploration of faith? In his attempt to understand the dual nature of Christ, we see Scorsese presenting a Jesus that is more “Chosen One” than “Saviour Figure”, giving us the most human Jesus in cinematic history.
Hypostatic Union -
A theological term that expresses the Christian belief that in Christ, two natures exist together, each retaining their own full and complete properties. These two natures, God and Man, are not commingled or united. The Hypostatic Union was formalized at the Council of Chalcedon in 451.
Many thanks to Matt Page for his time and expertise.
Matt is a bible and film expert, having published and lectured on the topic for over twenty years. His Bible Films Blog is the largest source of information about bible films on the internet. Make sure to check out his recent book, 100 Bible Films, published with the British Film Institute. You can find Matt on Twitter @MattPage.
The novel, first and foremost: Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ (Simon & Schuster, 1952).
Matt Page on The Last Temptation of Christ.
Martin Scorsese; Christie & Robbins, eds. Scorsese on Scorsese (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003).
Thomas Lindlof, Hollywood Under Siege: Martin Scorsese, the Religious Right, and the Culture Wars (University of Kentucky Press, 2008).
Darren J. N. Middleton, ed. Scandelizing Jesus? Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years On (Continuum, 2005).
Mark Goodacre, "The Synoptic Jesus and the Celluloid Christ: Solving the Synoptic Problem Through Film." Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Vol. 23 No. 80 (2001), 31-43.
Adele Reinhertz, Jesus of Hollywood (Oxford University Press, 2007).
Jeffrey L. Staley and Richard Walsh, Jesus, the Gospels, and Cinematic Imagination (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021).
Steven Greenhouse, "Police Suspect Arson In Fire at Paris Theater", The New York Times (25 Oct 1988).