The terrestrial dimension in the work of Kazantzakis, crowned by the paeans he sang to the infinite beauty of the earth and to human life rooted in the soil, is as intensely depicted as his momentous struggle to achieve spiritual ascent. Scattered in his writings we find innumerable passages on the fundamental importance of the material realm, combined with his humanistic commitment to mankind's terrestrial habitat—to live and "flower" in it; and his spiritual growth, the ascent, is crucially linked with and depends on the material base. Such passages, often of surging lyricism and ritual adoration, can provide for us today, for our threatened planet, not only inspiration for ecological concern and action, but also an ethical base that could strengthen the panoplies for such action. A selection of the best of such passages from his vast work could become an eco-pulsing gospel to serve vitally our struggle for survival. Passages from several of his works demonstrate the significance of the Kazantzakian embrace of the earth and suggest how it can inspire and nurture committed ecological action, especially if combined with his principle of χρέος/ευθύνη (dutiful service/responsibility), the foundation of his ethical humanism.


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pp. 263-270
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