European Book Club Greece

European Book Club: Christ Re-crucified

by Nikos Kazantzakis

Sunday, November 22 – 3pm to 5pm
Hellenic Community of Vancouver, 4500 Arbutus Street

Organized by the Consulate General of Greece in Vancouver and EUNIC Canada-Vancouver, in collaboration with the Vancouver Public Library and the Hellenic Community of Vancouver, the next meeting with the EU Book Club, moderated by Dr. Eirini Kotsovili, Lecturer at the Hellenic Studies Dept. of SFU, will focus on Christ Re-crucified, a Greek novel (1954) by the author of Zorba the Greek.


Set in a Greek village in the interior of Anatolia shortly before the Greek defeat of 1922, the novel tells of the arrival of a group of refugees from the fighting, while the younger people of the village are preparing themselves to act their parts in the village Passion play the following Easter. Under pressure of these events, the principal characters among the villagers become more and more identified with, or even taken over by, the roles of the Gospel characters they are to represent. This goes even beyond the "realistic" motivations of the coming Passion play and extends to all the characters; the village elders unconsciously come to act the role of the Pharisees; Grigoris, the village priest, is edged by circumstances and temperament into the role of Caiaphas; the role of Pilate is unwittingly played to perfection, and with great humor on Kazantzakis' part, by the local Turkish official, driven to distraction by the incomprehensible antics of the Greeks around him.


Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957) studied law, worked as a journalist, wrote several plays, travel journals and translated major philosophical works. His remarkable travels began in 1907; there were few countries in Europe or Asia that he didn't visit. They inspired The Odyssey, which he completed in 1938. He served as a minister in the Greek government (1945) and worked for UNESCO in Paris (1947–48). He completed his most famous work, Zorba the Greek, in 1946 (Michael Cacoyannis directed its film adaptation in 1964).
Other novels include Freedom and Death (1953) and The Last Temptation (1954), which the Vatican placed on the Index (its film adaptation came in 1988 by Martin Scorsese). His Return to Greco, an autobiographical novel, was published in 1961.

Light refreshments will follow, courtesy of the Consulate General of Greece

Admission is free, but please register by e-mail:

The English translation of the novel is available in paperback (under both titles) or e-book (as "The Greek Passion") from Delivery should take approximately 2 weeks.