Political Apocalypse: A Study of Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor

Political Apocalypse: A Study of Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor

Political Apocalypse: A Study of Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor

Political Apocalypse: A Study of Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor

Synopsis

Fyodor Dostoevsky has often been regarded as a prophet who foretold the rise of totalitarian socialism in Russia. But his political vision had deep spiritual roots. Dostoevsky's searing struggle with the question of God is famously presented in the legend of the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov.

Excerpt

The reissue of this book in a second edition a quarter century after its initial publication is a matter of satisfaction to me, especially since the new edition can conclude with a philosophical epilogue that enlarges the horizon provided by the original study. Apart from this addition and silent correction of errata and minor details, nothing has been altered.

I am grateful to a readership that encouraged the reissue of a book long out of print. the timelessness of Dostoevsky's art, of course, is not a matter for debate. But the pertinence of his insights into politics, the human condition, and the divine-human encounters structuring comprehensive reality hold a special fascination and pertinence in a time such as our own. For the winds of historical change have caught up with the Gnostic dreamworld of that secondreality called Marxism-Leninism. They have blown away before our eyes at least the Russian version of totalitarian socialism, whose ascendancy Dostoevsky foretold so remarkably, grasped so profoundly, and struggled against so resolutely as the very abomination of desolation itself.

His prophetic vision precipitates most memorably in the "Legend of the Grand Inquisitor," the principal subject of this study. Whatever . . .

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