The Myth of the Twentieth Century (1930)

Note: After the attempted insurrection — a “putsch,” as one ABC News commentator called it — at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. two days ago, I felt it was necessary to post the following material. Originally I had planned to save this section for the manuscript I have very slowly been working on over the last several years. But since I am already engrossed in a different manuscript project — one that actually has a publishing contract and, thus, a hard deadline — due to its timeliness I felt compelled to post it here instead.

Adolf Hitler and his Nazi associates, including this article’s subject, Alfred Rosenberg, perpetrated in Munich in November of 1923 an armed, attempted coup. Later, this event would become known as the “Beer Hall Putsch.” Before it could be put down, 16 Nazi Party members and four police officers had died. Though it failed, many historians point to it as the start of the rise of the Nazis’ genocidal, fascist regime.

Source: Widerstand!? [“Resistance!?”]

ROSENBERG, Alfred (1893-1946), The Myth of the Twentieth Century: An Evaluation of the Spiritual-intellectual Confrontations of Our Age. Translated from the German to English by Vivian Bird (1st English ed.). Torrance, CA: Noontide Press, 1982.   

Original citation: Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts: Eine Wertung der seelisch-geistigen Gestaltenkâmpfe unserer Zeit. München (Munich): Hoheneichen-Verlag, 1930. 

Condemned: February 7, 1934. 

Additional notes/condemnations: Also see STROOTHENKE, Wolfgang (1913-1945), Erbpflege und Christentum; Fragen der Sterilisation, Aufnordung, Euthanasie, Ehe. Mit einem Geleitwort von Fritz Lenz. Leipzig: L. Klotz, 1940. Condemned: February 19, 1941. 

§2: Books including any heresy or schism attempting to destroy religious orthodoxy;

§3: Books that attempt to attack religion or good morals;

§4: Books by non-Catholics dealing in any way with religion (unless in total agreement with Catholic dogma);

§5: Books and booklets including mention of any new appearances [of saints or other divine spirits], revelations, visions, prophecies, and miracles, even under the pretext of private publication;

§6: Books that scorn or ridicule the Church or Catholic dogma in any way;

§7: Books engaged in any kind of superstition, fortune-telling, magic, spirit-conjuring, or other similar occult topics.

On the influence of Adolf Hitler’s infamous screed Mein Kampf, which itself, incidentally, was never officially banned by the Vatican, book historian Robert B. Downs writes, “A great nation and its allies committed themselves to carrying out the fanatical ideas in the book. By the outbreak of World War II, 5,000,000 copies had been distributed in Germany alone.” In the Germany of today, the book, along with all National Socialist propaganda and paraphernalia, is outright illegal. But in his rise to power throughout the 1930s, nothing was more effective for Hitler than his ability to influence thought through his writings. What’s more, since full translations from the German to other languages was never permitted during most of Hitler’s lifetime, few besides those already indoctrinated or those directly oppressed by him truly fathomed the extent of the Führer’s genocidal designs. 

Lesser known than Hitler (and his infamous henchmen Himmler, Goebbels, and Göring) was one Alfred Rosenberg. By title, Rosenberg was Leader of Nazi Germany’s Office of Foreign Affairs, Commissar for the Supervision of Intellectual and Ideological Education, and Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. Born in then-Russian-ruled Reval, the former name of the capital of modern-day Estonia, Tallinn, Rosenberg was thus a subject of the last Russian tsars, Alexander III and Nicholas II, throughout his childhood and young manhood. Rosenberg even completed his doctorate in Moscow and lived there during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Though he and his family identified as “pure” ethno-linguistic Germans, at least one bold journalist of the era made the claim that Rosenberg, likely triggered by his surname being more common among Jews than Gentiles, was in fact descended from a variety of non-Germanic people-groups and thus was not “Aryan” whatsoever. It seems probable that this insecurity regarding his ancestry — whether internal or external at its source — contributed to the manifestations of his (and, predictably, many other Nazis’) racist protectionism. But whatever the case, Rosenberg’s membership in the burgeoning Nazi Party predated Adolf Hitler’s own by eight months. The two men would be close yet uneasy allies through the 1920s and ‘30s and up until the Third Reich’s defeat and demise in 1945.

 In 1930, just three years before the Nazis would rise to power in Germany, at the age of thirty-seven Rosenberg published his first book in Munich. His two entries on the Index are dated as 1934 and 1935 and correspond, respectively, to 1.) this first work, Myth of the Twentieth Century: An Evaluation of the Spiritual-intellectual Confrontations of Our Age (1930), and 2.) a response to the criticisms of that book (1935). Essentially, Myth is a historical and sociological attempt to justify the racial superiority of Aryans (a term very subjectively and idiosyncratically defined), and Germans specifically. Rosenberg writes intensely and at length of such pseudo-scientific concepts as “race soul” — we are who we are not because of our individual choices or talents but are essentially predetermined in our individual natures and abilities by our racial inheritance. “Either we upbreed the old blood and thereby find renewed vitality and a heightened will to struggle,” he argued, “or the Teutonic-European values of culture and ordered government will sink under the filthy human flood of Cosmopolis…” Rosenberg is also credited as having developed and popularized the concept of Lebensraum (“living space”), or the need for the German Volk to geographically expand themselves through both conquest of new territories and reconquest of territories formerly part of greater ethnic Deutschland.

Also deeply entrenched in the occult and semi-spirituality of the Nazi regime, Rosenberg suggested a wide variety of theories, including that Aryans may have originated on the mythical island of Atlantis (or some other now-vanished utopia); that the influence of the Jewish St. Paul caused a bastardization of the originally intended doctrines of Christianity; and that Jesus of Nazareth was himself probably not Jewish or Semitic whatsoever. “Jesus possibly was Aryan,” he wrote, “or partially so, showing the Nordic type strongly.” This theory, to Rosenberg, thus explains Christ’s powers of charisma over non-Aryans (he cannot, at least, deny that the first Christians were most certainly all Jews) as well as offering a tidy apologia for the vast majority of Germans’ adherence to Christianity for so many centuries. What’s more, this same argument cleared the way for Rosenberg to present a reimagined template for the state religion of the Third Reich, one ensconced in the more “natural” pagan (Odinist or Wotanist) traditions of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples, while simultaneously presenting an at least somewhat recognizable system to the German masses. 

Of all the many scapegoats and boogeymen in Rosenberg’s dense book, it is not surprising that Jews are the most prominent. Anti-Semitism (along with anti-Slavism, anti-Gypsyism (antiziganism), anti-Blackism, etc., etc.) was an obvious hallmark of the Nazis and their brutal practices of ethnic cleansing throughout the 1930s and ‘40s. Less well known, however, and despite the tenuous alliances between them, is some Nazis’ disdain for the Catholic Church. While not as distinct an ethnic group per se as the Jews had been for the centuries since their first arrival in Germany, Catholics and Catholic institutions in geopolitically important regions such as Bavaria often dissented strongly to the Nazis’ charges toward both political and ideological dominance. “Piece by piece,” James B. Whisker explains, “Rosenberg tried to show that the Church was both administratively and ritually Near Eastern-Jewish-Etruscan-Roman and anti-Nordic. Its practices are, in his view, alien to the German spirit. They corrupt it and they undermine the national-state.” And then, of course, there were the surrounding Catholic-majority countries such as France and Poland, which the Third Reich intended to permanently conquer, annex, and dominate.

Rosenberg’s most hated (though begrudgingly admired, according to Whisker) subset of Catholicism was the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit order of priesthood founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the sixteenth century. “We know of the monstrously strong evil dream of Ignatius of Loyola whose soul-destroying breath lies even today over our entire culture.” And, more generally, he summed up Christianity, “with its vacuous creed of ecumenicalism and its ideal of humanitas, [as having] disregarded the current of red-blood vitality which flows through the veins of all peoples of true worth and genuine culture.” In their book on Rosenberg, The Devil’s Diary, authors Robert K. Wittman and David Kinney corroborate this stance with entries from Rosenberg’s long-lost private diary (only re-discovered, translated, and published in 2015), alongside a chronicle of the figure’s public rise to power. “Rome’s Christianity is founded on fear and humility,” Rosenberg wrote on December 26, 1934. “National Socialism,” he continued, “on courage and pride.” The ideas presented in Myth directly contravene seven (§§2-7 and §11) of the twelve sections of Canon 1399 of the then-current Code of Canon Law (see above). But the Nazi ideologue’s acute disdain and repugnance towards Catholicism in particular and Christianity in general is, in my view, the obvious reason for Myth’s blacklisting. Conversely, if Hitler had attacked Christianity in such a way in writing, so too would that work have been included on the Index. That Hitler explicitly did not cross that line was perhaps one of his most wily methods of avoiding outright censure as he sought hearts and minds in support of, or at least enablement of, the Final Solution. 

In July 1933, the Catholic Church and the Nazis had signed a concordat that, in theory, respected each other’s rights to continued existence. This agreement quickly broke down, however, thanks in large part to the antagonism of Alfred Rosenberg. By December of that year, the Catholic Archbishop of Munich, in Catholic-majority Bavaria, could no longer abide the Aryanism of Rosenberg in particular. “When racial research, in itself not a religious matter,” the archbishop wrote, “makes war upon religion and attacks the foundations of Christianity, when antagonism to the Jews of the present day is extended to the sacred books of the Old Testament…then the bishop cannot remain silent.” In the Sanctum Officium that preceded Myth’s banning in February 1934, the condemnation is unambiguous: “The book scorns all dogmas of the Catholic Church, indeed the very fundamentals of Christian religion, and rejects them completely.” Rosenberg beamed with pride: “This feeble protest will contribute its share to the wider dissemination of this work. I am in the best of company on the Index.” In turn, Adolf Hitler opted to continue to hedge his bets with doublespeak. He decreed that the Myth was “not official dogma.”  

By 1935 both Catholic and Protestant congregations in several German cities were in open protest of their arguably if not definitively anti-Christian ruling party. It was around this time that Martin Niemöller, a Lutheran theologian and pastor, wrote his now-famous poem, one that has been regularly invoked among the Left in the United States since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. It begins, “First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Communist,” and concludes, “Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.” No one in Germany but the most blindly loyal, it appeared starting around this time, was safe from Nazi power. Soon that power would spread throughout the rest of Europe and not cease until the Allies defeated it and Hitler was dead. Robert B. Downs frames this end in aptly theatrical terms: 

The funeral pyre which consumed the mortal remains of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun on April 30, 1945, deep underground in the Berlin chancellery, was a climax that might have been imagined by the operatic composer Hitler most ardently admired, Richard Wagner, for a new Götterdämmerung, or Twilight of the Gods. The scene rang down the curtain on a vast melodrama that had opened a generation earlier… 

Though Hitler perished in the shadows, many of his highest-ranking officers were publicly tried at Nuremberg for their crimes against humanity. Included among them was Alfred Rosenberg, who was executed by hanging in the early hours of October 16, 1946. Peter Peel, author of the preface to the 1982 English-language translation of Myth of the Twentieth Century, contends, “He was hanged, it would appear, for what he thought and wrote.” Peel seems to completely disregard here what Downs much more convincingly argues in his own book’s introduction: that these texts have the power to not only deeply affect thought but to indeed change the world through the actions that proceed from their inspiration and instruction. Wittman and Kinney, arguably the foremost experts on Rosenberg’s psyche due to their analysis of both the Nazi’s public persona and private writings, bolster this argument in favor of his culpability: “In their verdict, the judges convicted him not for his ideas, only for his actions.” 

Rosenberg declined to speak with a priest before being hanged at the gallows at Nuremberg in 1946, ostensibly unrepentant for his role in systematizing, encouraging, and sustaining the ideology that facilitated the murder of millions of Jews, Roma, Poles; the disabled and the homosexual; and many others during the Holocaust. His two condemned books would remain on the Index until its abolishment in 1966, almost exactly 20 years after his execution.

The First Book on the Index?

Recently, via the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Blog, I was asked the following:

Which was the first book ever to be condemned by the Church or to be entered in the Index?

This is an excellent question! It’s a little tricky to answer, however, for a few reasons. (SPOILER: There have been many Indexes!)

For one, the Church has banned books going back to its earliest foundations during the first centuries after Jesus Christ’s death (c. 30 AD). These banned books included texts considered apocryphal, or non-canonical, especially in regards to the New or Christian Testament, or otherwise sinful, scandalous, profane, etc. etc.. This was not done in a particularly systematic manner, however, as condemnations were fleeting and depended on the Church’s leadership at the given time.

Several semi-autonomous indexes existed in various parts of Europe. The first of them was published by the Faculty of Theology of the University of Paris (La Sorbonne), in 1544.

The Church did not have a fully consolidated Index until about 1564, upon the conclusion of the Council of Trent. If we take this date as our starting point, it becomes easier to isolate individual titles. Note that this date is not too long after Martin Luther initiated the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Essentially, any attempt at a definitive system of banning books or other texts is a response to the religio-cultural revolution that Luther set ablaze.

That said, according to de Bujanda et al. (Eds.), it is fairly easy to pinpoint those books entered into the Catholic Index of Forbidden Books around the year 1564 (day-specific dates of condemnation were not recorded — or at least are no longer extant — until 1571, when the Vatican’s Congregation of the Index was established).

A short selection of these books is as follows:

–A commentary on a work by the Roman historian Tacitus: ALTHAMER (BRENTZIUS), Andreas (c.1498-1560), Commentaria Germaniae in P. Cornelii Taciti Libellum de situ, moribus et populis Germanorum. Nuremberg: Johann Petreius, 1536;

–Four texts published in 1557 by Italian humanist and libertine Pietro ARETINO (1492-1556);

–A treatise on law by SCHURFF (SCHURPF), Hieronymus (1481-1554). Consiliorum, seu Responsorum iuris…, centuria prima. Frankfurt: Christian Egenolff, 1556.

Hope this answers it, at least somewhat!

An Update

Apologies for not posting more lately!

I am happy to report, however, that during the last three months’ hiatus I’ve been busy working on the longer-term version (and vision) of this project. I’ve been developing the draft manuscript that will, with luck, someday become a full-length book. This work has been concentrated mostly within my week-long research visits to the Houghton Library and the Harvard University Library system in general since July of last year. With those resources and the (so far) three weeks of dedicated time for reading, outlining, and writing, I feel confident that I am now well on my way.

If you’ve missed my posts on the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Blog related to the first two of these trips, see July’s here and October’s here. The post for my most recent trip, January 20-27, 2019, will be posted shortly at the same location (see my Instagram account linked above for a few photos and notes). My final week at Harvard will most likely take place this upcoming May or June.

As a bit of a preview, below is an outline of the annotated bibliography section of my current draft outline — the “Bibliography of the Damned” itself. These 46 author entries correspond with four chronological categories…with a twist for the fifth that you’ll have to wait for the book to find out the meaning of. Mystery!

Also: This outline is subject to change.

Part III: A Bibliography of the Damned

  1. Circa 1600 to 1700
    • BRUNO, Giordano
    • COPERNICUS, Nicolaus (Micołaj Kopernik)
    • DELLON, Charles
    • DESCARTES, René
    • GALILEO Galilei
    • HOBBES, Thomas
    • KEPLER, Johannes
    • SPINOZA, Baruch (Benedictus de)
    • PERKINS, William
    • WILKINS, John
  2. 1700 to 1800
    • DARWIN, Erasmus
    • DIDEROT, Denis
    • ENGEL, Samuel
    • GIBBON, Edward
    • KANT, Emmanuel
    • MANDEVILLE, Bernard
    • MIDDLETON, Conyers
    • “PARKER” [Anonymous]
    • ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques
    • VOLTAIRE (François-Marie Arouet)
  3. 1800 to 1900
    • CASANOVA (Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seignault)
    • CIOCCI, Raffaele
    • FLAUBERT, Gustave
    • HUGO, Victor
    • MORGAN, Lady Sydney Owenson
    • RICHMOND, Legh
    • SAND, George (Amandine Lucile Aurore Dupin)
    • STENDHAL (Marie-Henri Beyle)
    • VÉRICOUR, Louis
    • WHATELY, Richard
  4. 1900 to 1966
    • BEAUVOIR, Simone de
    • DELLHORA, Guillermo
    • HOUTIN, Albert
    • KAZANTZAKIS, Nikos
    • ROSENBERG, Alfred
    • SARTRE, Jean-Paul
    • STEINMANN, Jean
    • STROOTHENKE, Wolfgang
    • SULLIVAN, William Lawrence
    • UNAMUNO, Miguel de
  5. Works out of Time
    • DANTE Alighieri
    • JULIANUS AUGUSTUS, Flavius Claudius (Julian the Apostate)
    • LUCRETIUS (Titus Lucretius Carus)
    • LUTHER, Martin
    • MERLIN (the Wizard)
    • TACITUS, Publius Cornelius

When Brazil Censored the Church

As you have probably heard by now, Brazil elected a new president on Sunday, Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro is a far-right populist, often compared to Donald Trump but in reality probably closer in his platform to the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte.

You might be shocked to learn that Brazil even has such borderline fascistic elements given the prominent Brazilian stereotypes among non-Brazilians. These might include things like futebol, tropical sun, caipirinhas, Carnaval, samba, and a general sense of multi-racial diversity and harmony. While all of these may certainly be parts of what makes Brazil Brazil, they are also stereotypes that only scratch the surface of a vast nation-state of almost 210 million people.

What’s less understood among foreigners or non-experts is how complex the politics and demographic make-up of Brazil are. One case in point is that up until quite recently, Brazil was ruled by a military dictatorship. This took place from 1964 until 1985, after which a transitional period followed for three years until 1988, when a new, fully democratic federal constitution was ratified. The twenty-one-year era of dictatorship was defined by a high level of suppression of free speech; harassment of intellectuals, artists, and dissidents; and torture. Even the Catholic Church, and especially its more progressive, pro-poor and -labor wing, was not immune to the regime.

Notably, this was also one of the few times in history when the Catholic Church deferred to a government in a predominantly Catholic nation, its role reversed from censor to censored. In the case of the military dictatorship in Brazil, a government official was tasked with reviewing O São Paulo, the most influential Catholic newspaper in the country at that time. In 1975, in the mainline Protestant magazine Christian Century, James Bruce reported,

Every Thursday afternoon, before presses can roll to produce the archdiocesan newspaper of Latin America’s largest city, a delegate from federal police headquarters in São Paulo arrives at the printer’s office and begins reading proofs. Using a felt tip pen and rubber stamp, “VETADO,” [vetoed] he gleans the grayish columns for offensive items before returning the proofs to an editor, who fills the censored gaps with overset and sends the sterilized weekly to the presses. (940)

Although O São Paulo was, at the time, the Catholic Church’s only externally censored publication, it speaks to the shifting dynamics between church and state that occurred during the twentieth century. Even in a predominantly devout Catholic nation such as Brazil, the status quo lay with the generals at the top.

Whether any similar practices of censorship will re-emerge under President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s administration are yet to be seen. But due to the incendiary rhetoric and hardline “law-and-order” policies espoused during his campaign, rights-watch organizations in Brazil and around the world are undoubtedly on high alert.

Bruce, J. (1975). “Brazil: Muzzling the Outspoken Church.” Christian Century, 92 (34), 940-942.

 

That Damned Priest: Joseph McCabe and the Index

Joseph McCabe in 1910

Meet Joseph Martin McCabe (1867-1955), a mostly forgotten giant of Rationalism and scholarly criticism of the Catholic Church and its policies (among many other topics). The majority of his copious output was published during the 1920s and ’30s by the Haldeman-Julius Company of Girard, Kansas.

In a previous life, McCabe had been a Catholic monk. At the age of 29, however, the once pious and obedient man of God started on the path to becoming a crusader for reason and humanism. He dedicated the remainder of his life to understanding why humans are the way we are through the prism of our recorded history.

Fighter for Freethought

The arc of Joseph McCabe’s life was remarkable. In the biography Joseph McCabe: Fighter for Freethought, author and fellow Rationalist Isaac Goldberg introduces the man thus:

The life-story of McCabe begins with a fight for freedom; it continues as a campaign to keep life free. Ever since that fateful Ash Wednesday of 1896, when he tore off the brown robe and flung aside the sandals that he had worn for 12 years, abandoning the life of a monk and his title as ‘The Very Reverend Father Antony,’ he has dedicated himself to the service of human liberation. (1936: Ch. II)

McCabe’s life, then, is one of two diametrically opposed eras: before and after his departure from the Church. Once he renounced the priesthood and Christianity/theism in general, he dedicated the entirety of the rest of his life to revealing hypocrisy not only in the Catholic Church, but in any and all entrenched or otherwise sacrosanct institutions. But even more than that, his liberation and affiliation with Haldeman-Julius allowed him to study and explicate scores of subjects, from the history of the popes to the theory of evolution.

The Stupidity of the Index

When first researching the Index as a graduate student at the University of Illinois, I sought out materials on my topic wherever I could find them. One search led me directly to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML), where a particularly rare text was to be found: Joseph McCabe’s The History and Meaning of the Catholic Index of Forbidden Books (1931).

I ended up quoting the following passage in the resulting research paper (also cited elsewhere on this site):

I do not mean that the Index has made no progress since the days when the Popes and cardinals and monks were so rudely disturbed in their prayers and amours by the Lutheran earthquake…The legendary wizard Merlin is no longer represented as an author from whose books we need to be protected by a sage authority. (1931: 5, “Introduction: The Stupidity of the Index”)

This short book achieves the impressive feat of being both academically scathing and, at regular intervals, pretty funny. It was also the first text I found from before 1966 (the year the Index was abolished) that seemed wholly free from fear or bias.

McCabe employs the dry wit of a northern Englishman (he was of half Irish descent and grew up in Manchester) to eviscerate any apologists’ claims that the Vatican was justified in its fervent suppression of intellectual freedom. “[A]ny attempt to defend the Index in our time on the pretext that the Church is still protecting souls from eternal damnation,” he writes, “…ought at once…be denounced as a moral and intellectual outrage” (11). He argues that the ultimate reasons behind the Index, its legislation, and Congregation were plain and simple: to stanch the flow of any literate or semi-literate Catholic faithful into apostasy, or worse: Protestantism. In this sense, the Index as a subset of the Inquisition is made clear.

What’s most powerful herein is McCabe’s detailing of the effects that the Index/Inquisition had on literature and the culture in general in the Catholic countries of Europe, and in Spain (and Portugal) in particular. “There is no need to speak of literature in Spain,” he explains. “After the seventeenth century there were ‘two centuries of comparative silence’…” (40). Publishing houses and booksellers in other countries, such as Belgium, he relates, were subject to constant raids and searches by agents of their local dioceses.

The End of an Era

On the last page of his short yet dense treatise, McCabe made a prediction, perhaps uncanny, but to him self-evident:

The only real interest of the Index is that it reminds the world of the heavy and paralyzing tyranny which Rome laid upon thought in half of Europe for three centuries, in the sole interest of the Church, over the mind of their followers today… It will be abolished in the course of the present century, as the Inquisition was abolished in the last century. (107)

Fin.

It would only take another thirty-five years for this to come true. In the meantime, none of McCabe’s many works ever found its way onto the Index. I am fairly certain that, at least on some level, this came as somewhat of a disappointment to the man.

The Discovery of a World in the Moone (1638)

First title page. Source: Houghton Library, Harvard University (photograph by the author)

WILKINS, John, The Discovery of a World in the Moone. Or, A Discourse Tending to Prove That ‘Tis Probable There May Be Another Habitable World in That Planet [eBook via archive.org]. London: Printed by E[dward]. G[riffin]. for Michael Sparke and Edward Forrest, 1638.

Original condemned citation: A Discovery of a new world, or a discourse tending to prove that ’tis probable there may be another habitable world in the moon, with a discourse concerning the probability of a passage thither. London: Printed by John Norton for John Maynard, 1640; first condemned in French: Le Monde dans la Lune [Divisé en deux livres. Le premier, prouvant que la Lune peut estre un monde. Le second, que la Terre peut estre une planette.] [Translated by Sieur de La Montagne]. Rouen: Jacques Cailloué, 1655.

Condemned: April 25, 1701.

§4: Books by non-Catholics dealing in any way with religion (unless in total agreement with Catholic dogma).

§7: Books engaged in any kind of superstition, fortune-telling, magic, spirit-conjuring, or other similar occult topics.

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The Last Temptation of Christ (1952)

Since it is still under copyright restrictions, open-access eBook or other digitized versions of this text in the original or translation are not currently available. The source of this image of the first-edition cover is an auction on the German version of eBay.

KAZANTZAKIS, Nikos, The Last Temptation of Christ. Translated by P.A. Bien. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998; 1988; 1960.

Original citation: Ο τελευταίος πειρασμός [O telefteos pirasmos] — Die letzte Versuchung [German translation by Werner Kerbs]. Berlin-Grunewald: F. A. Herbig, 1952.

Condemned: December 16, 1953.

§4: Books by non-Catholics dealing in any way with religion (unless in total agreement with Catholic dogma).

§9: Books which professedly discuss, describe, or teach impure and obscene topics.

§11: Books containing apocrypha.

Additional notes: Not published in Greek until 1955; highly censured (but not officially banned) by the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church. 

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