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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…

Modern man thinks that his sexual rights are the final chapter in the progress of civilization. Like the enlightened doctrine of religion that understands faith to be subjective, so too sexuality is now considered completely subjective; and just as religious freedom was established on account of the belief that faith is relative, so too sexual relativism proves to be the…

It is often said that Tolstoy's Anna Karenina begins with one of the most famous first sentences in world literature: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."[1]  Interestingly, this oft-spoken statement is incorrect; this sentence is not actually the first sentence of the novel.  The first sentence of the novel is the epigraph…

Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons concerns above all the challenge of handing down ways from fathers to sons in a confused, seemingly progressive society. Two fathers, a downscale gentleman and a peasant, have sent their sons to the university, and the book begins as the graduates return home. Arkady is reunited with his father, Nikolai Petrovich, on their rural estate,…