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Document Details :
Title: The Spectrum of Religious Interpretations of Dostoevsky
Author(s): VAN DEN BERCKEN, Wil
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 62 Issue: 1-2 Date: 2010
The article discusses the literary method of Dostoevsky in dealing with religious themes in his novels: his use of paradoxes, contradictions and irony, his ignoring of the Church on the one hand and his frequent referring to the Bible on the other hand. This results in an ambivalent presentation of Christian faith by Dostoevsky which leaves room for different interpretations by analysts. A unique feature of Dostoevsky’s literary Christianity is the tension between the fictionality of the religious characters and the reader’s experience of the existential reality of their religious and ethical conflicts. This is what the author of the article calls ‘religious realism’. This realism has nothing to do with factual Orthodox reality in Dostoevsky’s time, but lies in the lasting anthropological relevance of the religious and ethical problems described in the novels.