Who is Nikos Kazantzakis' God?


  • Nick N. Trakakis Australian Catholic University



The work of Kazantzakis is saturated with theological language, but disagreement continues as to how such language is to be understood. In some readings, Kazantzakis is interpreted as a non-religious, or even anti-religious, writer who rejects or is skeptical towards belief in God; while other readings emphasize the deeply religious character of his writings, seeing in them a ‘post-Christian’ or postmodern development of traditional Christian concepts. Critics, however, have surprisingly neglected a promising proposal, which would bring to the fore Kazantzakis’s lifelong engagement with Eastern religion. This proposal, although not denying that Kazantzakis was influenced by many of the streams of thought identified by others (e.g., evolutionary theory, process philosophy, apophatic theology, etc.), holds that Kazantzakis’s most fundamental commitment lay with a monistic and idealist worldview, prominent in Eastern philosophy and religious thought, which conceives reality as a unified whole that is ultimately spiritual in nature.