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Posts tagged "Fyodor Dostoyevsky"

Our Grieving Hearts and the “Great Impertinence of Beauty”  (Or, Can Beauty Save the World?), Pt 2

Our Grieving Hearts and the “Great Impertinence of Beauty” (Or, Can Beauty Save the World?), Pt 2

This is the second part of Benjamin Self’s reflection on beauty. Check out part one here.

“Is it true, prince, that you once declared that ‘beauty would save the world’? Great Heaven! The prince says that beauty saves the world! And I declare that he only has such playful ideas because he’s in love! Gentlemen, the prince is in love. I guessed it the moment he came in. Don’t blush, prince; you make me sorry for you. What beauty saves the world?”

— Ippolit, in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot

I.

As I attempt to expand a little further on this whole theory that…

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Religious Facts and the Difference Between a Crime and a Sin

Religious Facts and the Difference Between a Crime and a Sin

More thoughts from the late Jaroslav Pelikan, taken from the “Dostoevsky: The Holy and the Good” chapter of Fools for Christ:

The central discovery… for Dostoevsky was his realization that sin was not primarily a moral, but a religious fact. Sin did not consist in the mere violation of a law or transgression of a commandment. It was not only that I had done something evil or neglected to do something good. In fact, it was not primarily something that I did at all, but something that I was. A sense of sin was more than a feeling of guilt, it…

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The Element In Man For Which Moralism Cannot Account

The Element In Man For Which Moralism Cannot Account

Some germane thoughts from the late Jaroslav Pelikan, taken from the “Dostoevsky: The Holy and the Good” chapter of Fools for Christ, ht CB:

Wherever Christianity is viewed as a quiet submission to traditional patterns of conduct and an acceptance of social convention, there will be no appreciation of the atheism of Ivan Karamazov. His atheism begins to mean something when it becomes clear that the Christian gospel is a religious denunciation of religion–religion being understood as man’s attempt to relate himself constructively to the Holy. Traditional moralism and conventional piety have often put the objects of their search alongside God…

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Keeping a Reckoning in Dostoyevsky's The Idiot

Keeping a Reckoning in Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot

A short passage from the master in which Prince Myshkin recalls the story of an imprisoned friend who suddenly had his death sentence reversed. It’s a remarkable depiction of how even something as beautiful as gratitude can be turned into a new Law. That is, when we make a gracious act into something that has to be lived up to, rather than received, we revert to the same old slavery. The Prince seems to hold on to some hope that some form of meaningful “reckoning” is possible, though maybe not observably so. The passage begins with Myshkin retelling his friend’s…

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