"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dostoevsky's Fiction

The many writings of Dostoevsky continue--as I've noted previously--to offer a great deal to not only literary and religious scholars, but to readers in general. As a result, new studies regularly appear on his rich literary corpus. Now the Instituut voor Oosters Christendom has just published

Wil van den Bercken, Christian Fiction and Religious Realism in the Novels of Dostoevsky (Anthem Series on Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies) (2011, 164pp).

About this book, the publisher provides the following blurb:
The study offers a literary analysis and theological evaluation of the Christian themes in the five great novels of Doestoevsky, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Adolescent, The Devils and The Brothers Karamazov.
This study is based on a balanced method of literary analysis and theological evaluation of the texts, avoiding free theological association as well as hermeneutical mixing with the non-literary writings of Dostoevsky. The study starts by discussing the main recent studies of Dostoevsky's religion. It then describes Dostoevsky's original literary method in dealing with religious issues - his use of paradoxes, contradictions and irony. 'Christian Fiction and Religious Realism in the Novels of Dostoevsky' ultimately deconstructs Dostoevsky as an Orthodox writer, and reveals that the Christian themes in his novels are not ecclesiastical or confessionally theological ones, but instead are expressions of a fundamentally Christian anthropology and biblical ethics.

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