Tag: Dostoevsky

  • Notes from the Underground

  • From Under the Rubble

    Dostoevsky wrote in the mid-19th century, a time when many ideas and cultural forces were only beginning to coelesce. We live in an age after which those forces have come together, and after which they have largely been judged by history to have fallen short of their stated ideals. The world has witnessed more than…

  • Notes from the Underground And Man’s True Heart

    I have recently been reading in a classic work, Nicholas Berdyaev’s Dostoevsky. Berdyaev was a twentieth-century Russian philosopher (existentialist) and deeply sympathetic to Dostoevsky’s works. I find some of his treatment to be tremendously satisfying and “on the mark.” I offer an extended quote and some thoughts… Berdyaev quotes from Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground:…

  • Donald Sheehan – Memory Eternal

    Longtime Dartmouth professor and Orthodox Christian, Donald Sheehan, fell asleep in the Lord on May 26 this year at his home in Charleston, S.C. I learned of his death just this past week. Probably one of the most moving stories involving Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov was written by Dr. Sheehan. I first posted it back…

  • Saving Faith

    In a recent post I quoted Vladimir Lossky on the nature of faith. Several have asked me to expand on the Orthodox understanding of faith. I begin with Lossky’s quote: What one quests is already present, precedes us, makes possible our question itself. ‘Through faith, we comprehend (we think) how the ages have been produced’…

  • In a Single Moment – Paradise

    Pascha and Bright Week always remind me of the joy of paradise. The doors of the altar stand open for all of Bright Week, reminding the people of God that Christ has opened paradise to us all. These are some thoughts on the suddenness and nearness of paradise. As the Elder Cleopas used to say,…

  • Publicans and Harlots and the Last Banquet

    This morning’s gospel was a familiar story: the calling of Levi to be a disciple. As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many…

  • Icons – Beauty and the Salvation of the World

    “God will save the World Through Beauty.” This saying, often attributed to Fyodor Dostoevsky, never occurs in precisely this form in his novels – though the idea is present in such a strong sense that the phrase is correctly attributed to him. It is a phrase that is easily misunderstood. For Dostoevsky, in good Orthodox…

  • Prayer – It’s Something Personal

    I have long been intrigued with the notion of our common responsibility, or rather, that I am “responsible for the sins of the whole world.” I think I first came across the notion in a quote from the Elder Zossima in The Brothers Karamazov. And even there, Dostoevsky was only putting on the lips of his…

  • Dostoevsky on the Individual

    The following passage from The Brothers Karamazov is taken from one of the “Talks and Homilies” of the Elder Zossima – one of the key characters in the novel. His thoughts echo earlier articles here that contrast man as “individual” (isolation) to man as Person (brotherhood and communion). I plan to offer a series of thoughts…


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