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Fyodor Dostoevsky’s final novel, The Brothers Karamazov, has rightly earned its place among the greatest books of all time. It warrants this stature in no small part because it addresses questions and problems that lie at the heart of what it means to be human. Dostoevsky’s political insights of this novel are among his most profound and instructive for people of…

Personally, I require a ceiling, although a high one. Yes, I like ceilings, and the high better than the low. In literature I think there are low-ceiling masterpieces—Crime and Punishment, for instance—and high-ceiling masterpieces, Remembrance of Things Past.
—Artur Sammler, in Saul Bellow’s Mr. Sammler’s Planet (1969), 151.
 
No one doubts that Crime and Punishment has a prominent place in the pantheon…

Giving the Devil His Due: Demonic Authority in the Fiction of Flannery O’Connor and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Jessica Hooten Wilson. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2017.
 
Giving the Devil His Due is a book that grew out of Professor Wilson’s dissertation written under the guidance of the O’Connor scholar, Ralph Wood, at Baylor University.
It is clearly a wonderful idea to put O’Connor and…

Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence. Jessica Hooten Wilson. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2017.
 
When suffering from tuberculosis and confined to a sanatorium, Percy read Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground which led him to question whether science could answer life’s existential questions. This experience eventually led to Percy’s conversion to Catholicism and career as a novelist.…

As Isaiah Berlin once noted, Fyodor Dostoevsky is perhaps the most “centripetal” of all Russian writers.1 This is to say that all of his thoughts and inquiries ultimately gravitated toward addressing one central question: can human society exist without God? Famously, Dostoevsky was pessimistic about this. However, instead of relying upon theological or rational justifications for the role of religion…

Prelude: Gnosticism Ancient and Modern
Eric Voegelin’s use of the phrase “modern gnosticism” complicates the quarrel between the ancients and the moderns in that the phrase suggests a continuity between antiquity and modernity, even as it obfuscates the full character of the original Gnostics. Ancient Gnosticism was a form of theological dualism according to which evil and suffering can be attributed…

Introduction: "The Light Shines in the Darkness .  .  ."[1]
The study of politics presupposes the study of man.  The study of man demands we consider the nature of being as ensouled flesh.  This leads us into the realm of philosophy and, by extension, given that we are interested in man as a political being, political philosophy.  In our search for…

Novels and the Sociology of the Contemporary. Arpad Szakolczai. Abingdon, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2016.
 
Arpad Szakolczai is Professor of Sociology at University College Cork, and the first book’s subtitle is The Sociology of the Contemporary (hereafter NS) while the second occurs within a Contemporary Liminality Series. Still, all of Szakolczai’s work seems to effortlessly go beyond what’s conventionally regarded as…
Dostoevsky

Early reception of The Brothers Karamazov ranged from praise to condemnation, with most of the criticism and debate focused on Book V’s The Tale of the Grand Inquisitor.  Both liberal atheists and conservative believers upbraided Dostoevsky for his alleged identification with the Inquisitor’s position against God; while a minority of critics, such as Vladimir Soloviev, applauded Dostoevsky’s exploration and defense…