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Sense And Sensuality: Jesus Talks with Oscar Wilde on the Pursuit of Pleasure (Great Conversations)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  496 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
In an imaginative dialogue, Oscar Wilde asks Jesus Christ to respond to this question about critical lifestyle choices. Their talk vividly illustrates the arguments for both sensual pleasure-seeking and moral moderation. Playwright, dramatist, poet, critic - Wilde openly defied the mores of Victorian society. His literary repartee fueled an "if it feels good, do it" humani ...more
Published August 1st 2005 by Hovel Audio (first published 2002)
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Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The philosophical/Theological arguments brought up in this book are no doubt very important but sadly I found that the 'book' did not bring a great amount of depth into the discussion and I felt that Zacharias was not very apt at creating a believable dialogue. As I was reading it, I felt as if there were only one voice (Ravi's) spoken through three different characters with one consistent message. The Jesus character came off like a western philosopher, Oscar Wilde briefly began argumentatively ...more
Jul 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In many ways, I find that when I read a book and give it a great review there are others who read the same book and give it a less than palatable review. I realize with this book, that there are simply certain books with certain elements that affect you in a profound way at the time you read them.

They are special to your development at that moment. Like they are issued and governed by an outside element who picks the book for you to read when you do.

I had read Oscar Wilde's, The Picture of Dor
anca dc
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Before reading this book I didn’t know much about Wilde’s (Is “trivial” too much? I don’t want to exaggerate) personal life. The truth about him struck me while discovering how sensitive Ravi Zacharias touched this subject through the characters he brought in dialogue with Oscar Wilde, Jesus Christ and Blaise Pascal, before his death. The wonderful serendipity in choosing Pascal was the fact that Zacharias didn’t know about Wilde’s interest in him, his reason being totally different. Going throu ...more
Ampat Varghese
A wonderful piece of crap. What does a man like Ravi Zacharias understand about sensuality or hedonism or being gay for that matter? Or being imprisoned. He sits on his high horse of doctrine and dogma and attempts to have a conversation with someone who learnt the joys and sorrows of suffering by living it. Whatever Wilde's losses (and Ravi assumes that as per his exclusive doctrine or his illusion that he knows what God has decided that Wilde has a place in hell!)or sufferings or mistakes, som ...more
Mar 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taking his cue--I think--from Peter Kreeft, Zacharias here crafts a Socratic dialogue between Oscar Wilde, Jesus, and a religious writer who meant much to Wilde: Blaise Pascal. The dialogue takes place in a sort of dream shortly before Wilde's death, dramatizing the lifelong spiritual struggle that seems to have peaked in the last days of his life, as evidenced by Wilde's deathbed conversion to Catholicism.

Zacharias demonstrates a deep familiarity with the work and life of both Wilde and Pascal,
May 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bob by: Brett
Almost more of an essay than a 'book', this writing was interesting. I'm more of a fan of Ravi's speaking than writing, but this had a nice period feel. It lacked any deep insights and actually made me just want to read more Wilde.

A decent and very quick read.
Obed Huerta
Este libro hace un buen análisis del vivir por satisfacer la carne, lo superficial y egoista, con una buena conclusión que nos lleva a reflexionar.
Christian Turner
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first book of the year. I plan on reading a book a week so this seemed like a fairly good/easy place to start. It is a conversation between Jesus and Oscar Wilde (Blaise Pascal makes an appearance as well).

I did enjoy this book and the style is was written in: conversational and sans chapters.

They converse about the role of art is one's life; how it can become more "real" than Truth. He writes from Jesus' perspective saying, "They'll awaken one day to find that their dream has left them stil
Filip Sekkelsten
A very well-written book offering a deeper understanding of Oscar Wilde and his works through his conversation with Jesus and Blaise Pascal. Wilde pursued pleasure for its own sake, separating it from everything else. The problem with that and art as merely art is evinced in this quote: "First, art imitates life. Then life imitates art. Finally, art becomes the very reason for life, and that's when life breaks down, because life is not fiction…it is plain, hard fact." R. Zacharias presents good ...more
Aug 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is the third book in the series that I have read so far, and I must say that it is my least favorite. This is odd since it is probably one of the most useful in terms of engaging in an apologetic debate with the people I encounter most. We live in a culture of hedonists, and people who believe that there should be no bounds to what a person could do for sexual gratification...unless it "hurts another person." Zacharias addresses this issue along with the rest well. The content of the book ...more
Sam Erickson
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I've gathered as the main point of this book is that our sensual desire are given to us by God, but perverted by sexual deviance and we can not be justified by arguing "but we are made in God's image".
With slightly ascetic undertones in the end, Zacharias concludes that we confuse pleasure with earthly things are are innately evil, until we accept God and a new purpose of our heart takes over. The true pleasure is that which pleases the soul, not the body. Pleasure will eventually come fro
Jared Leonard
Apr 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The next book in this "series" by Ravi, another gem; maybe better than the first. In this one, Zacharias presents us with a conversation between Jesus and Oscar Wilde. The scene is Wilde's deathbed and a reflection upon Wilde's wild life(style). At our core we humans have self-seeking desires but this is not inherently bad. After all, we are created in the image of God who is "self-seeking" as well. The problem comes when sin is brought into the picture and we discover that our self-seeking is n ...more
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, philosophy
This is the first of Zacharias' books that I've read. He has a particularly clever way of developing this conversation between Wilde, Jesus and Pascal using ideas each had put forward in various other writings. The main purpose is to identify the materialistic outlook that pleasure is the chief end of man. Wilde may have taken this further than most, but it is a frightening commentary on our current culture. The conversation identifies where and why that goes wrong and then shows the logical out ...more
Nov 12, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
While on his deathbed, Oscar Wilde regrets that the wife he lost and the young boys he corrupted were hurt due to his selfish indulgence. This book details what a conversation between Jesus and Wilde might have contained. They are joined by Blaise Pascal who converted to Christianity while still in good health and went on to write about the experience.

"Eleventh hour conversions" are nothing new. A friend of Wilde said, "It was not a religion in which he could live, but one he clearly wanted to d
Jacob Meiser
This imaginary dialogue between Oscar Wilde and Jesus is very interesting and insightful into the complexities of beauty, pleasure and passion. There are whole sections that I'm sure I will visit over and over because of the wisdom they contain. However, I always think this when I read Ravi: he's a much better speaker than author. For a book about Oscar Wilde, who wrote preeminently beautiful prose and poetry, it is lacking the syntactic elegance that one would expect. Also, some of the dialogue ...more
Mar 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first "Ravi" book and after having experienced his insight and profundity in the podcast venue, I had expectations for much more than I got out of this book.

I think it is a very approachable book, albeit the conversation sometimes gets in the way for me. I would really enjoy a more dedicated treatise on this topic by Ravi in a more traditional form.

That said, this could be a very easy entry for anyone into the balance of beauty and profanity, art and law, love and selfishness.

I'll be
I LOVED the perspective from which this book was written. It's very conversational. The style intrigued me due to its creativity.

At something like 99 pages, this book fools you into being a quick read. But it's deep and philosophical. I'll admit, when I read it, my mind wandered, and wasn't prepared to do the heavy lifting. This book is so meaty.

Kind of makes me want to write something from this perspective: Jesus having a conversation with someone (in this case Oscar Wilde), maybe with another
Mark Schlechty
Interesting Approach

Or attempt to replace the sacred with personal pursuits of pleasure always leave us empty and wounded. It also drags others down along with us. Oscar Wilde's flamboyant life and early death are a testimony of one man's struggle and loss as he rejected the reveled words of God. Having Wilde and Jesus dialogue about a misspent life points out the folly of living for self.
Les Wolf
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read. This book is relevant and timely. A lot of big ideas packed into a small space. The modern views on pleasure and purpose are presented and discussed within the context of the Christian perspective. In addition, Zacharias has piqued my interest in both Blaise Pascal and Oscar Wilde. I'll probably end up reading several biographies.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sense and Sensuality: Jesus Talks to Oscar Wilde on the Pursuit of Pleasure
From the very first page to the last the desire for pleasure that God himself gave us, and the right (Godly) and wrong (immoral) means to pursue that end are discussed. The arguments against the pursuit of pleasure for pleasure's sake are compelling. Another great & thought provoking read.
Aug 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i love these statement:

- kekudusan dan keindahan tidak bisa dipisahkan satu sama lain.

- Michaelangelo lewat patungnya David ingin melihat manusia seperti cara Allah melihat. Tapi sejak manusia jatuh ke dalam dosa, manusia tidak akan bisa melihat ketelanjangan manusia lain dengan cara Allah melihat mereka. Hawa nafsu selalu mengintip. (ga tepat kaya gini si ngomongnya, tapi intinya gitu)
Shaidornell Swer
This imaginary conversation between Jesus and Oscar Wilde is interesting, philosophically brain racking, soul searching and heart touching, leaving us with a lot to ponder about. -- Recommended for all truth seekers!
Nov 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book in this series! An imaginary conversation between Oscar Wilde, Blaise Pascal, and Jesus Christ about some of life's most fascinating questions...especially those related to seeking joy and satisfaction. Very brief. Very insightful!!
Tim Morris
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome little book, taken from the perspective of a conversation between two incredibly brilliant people with two very different perspectives. Very relevant to our day and age. Ravi Zacharias has become a role model for me.
Nov 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably one of the best books I have ever read. In fact, I read it 3 times the weekend I got it. It's a very slim volume, but I love Oscar Wilde and I love Jesus. I think I'll go home tonight and read it again!
Dawn Weaver
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: artists and pursuers of beauty and pleasure
Superb discussion of the relationship between art and beauty and morality and how the pursuit of pleasure fits into God's design for human kind.

This one bears re-reading to extract quotes and ponder truths.
Also available in audio format.
Ruchit Patel
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Its a Good one....want to read it again...want to espouse it to the bone.....
did like the explanation on how imagination overpowers men seek cure in them for all the miseries .....the need of law...wanting and pleasure needs a proir moral commitment...this is a good book.

Mar 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
One of my friends recommended this book to me. I didn't really understand The Picture of Dorian Gray, and this book goes hand-in-hand with it. It's an imagined conversation between Jesus and Oscar Wilde. Very interesting. I love Ravi Zacharias' books!
Mar 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping this would be an intriguing read but it wasn't. I feel it didn't properly portray Wilde. It only focused on his sexual side. I wish more research went into Wilde and his life rather than mostly comparing it to The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I think this book takes a great look at the relative humanism that seems to pervade and saturate our culture today; as to what end do actions have, and are there consequences to our actions , or is there such a thing as a moral vacuum?
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For over thirty-five years Ravi Zacharias has spoken all over the world in great halls and universities, notably Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford. He is listed as a distinguished lecturer with the Staley Foundation and has appeared on CNN and other international broadcasts. The author of several books for adults and children, he powerfully mixes biblical teaching and Christian apologetics. His most ...more
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Great Conversations (5 books)
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