Exploring the Last Temptation of Christ: A Guide for Educating Students


The Last Temptation of Christ is a controversial topic filled with historical and theological nuances. As an educator, discussing such complex issues with students can be daunting. However, teaching about this subject can be a productive endeavor—offering learners insights into different beliefs, fostering critical thinking, and encouraging open-mindedness. Here’s a guide to help you effectively teach students about the Last Temptation of Christ.

Understanding the Last Temptation of Christ

Before diving into the lesson, it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of what the Last Temptation of Christ entails. The term refers to a specific moment during the Crucifixion when Jesus is said to have been tempted by Satan. The temptation is depicted in different ways across various platforms, including novels, movies, and theological texts. One prominent example is Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel, “The Last Temptation,” which inspired Martin Scorsese’s film adaptation.

Establishing Goals and Objectives

When teaching about this topic, it’s important to identify what you want students to gain from the lessons. Some common objectives include:

1. Familiarize students with historical and theological perspectives on the Last Temptation of Christ.

2. Encourage critical thinking and in-depth analysis.

3. Create a safe space for open discussions and diverse viewpoints.

4. Develop students’ understanding of how this topic intersects with religious beliefs, values, culture, and artistic expression.

Curating Resources for Study

Gather different resources that present various perspectives on the subject matter:

1. Literary works: Analyze novels like Nikos Kazantzakis’ “The Last Temptation” or C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters.”

2. Film adaptations: Study films such as Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” or Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”

3. Academic and theological texts: Refer to theological studies, articles, and books written by scholars in religious studies.

Encouraging Respectful Discussion

When discussing such controversial subjects, it’s essential to create an environment that encourages respectful conversation among students. Set ground rules and expectations for healthy discourse.

1. Emphasize the importance of active listening, empathy, and open-mindedness.

2. Encourage students to ask questions and remain respectful when addressing diverse viewpoints.

3. Provide resources and context for facilitating understanding.

Evaluating Students’ Learning

Assess student progress through various learning assessment techniques:

1. Written assignments: Have students complete essays or research papers on different aspects of the Last Temptation of Christ.

2. Class discussions: Observe their engagement during class discussions and gauge their understanding and comprehension.

3. Oral presentations: Assign students topics related to the Last Temptation of Christ to present in front of the class.


Teaching about the Last Temptation of Christ may be challenging, but with careful planning and a focus on healthy discourse, it can be a rewarding experience for both educators and learners. By providing context, fostering critical thinking, and addressing diverse perspectives, you will enable your students to gain valuable insights into this complex subject matter.

Choose your Reaction!