Dostoyevsky Grand Inquisitor

2095 Words May 26th, 2013 9 Pages
The Grand Inquisitor
JACKIE BARRIERE stc The Grand Inquisitor
The Grand Inquisitor is a chapter in Dostoyevsky’s classic novel “The Brothers Karamazov.” The Greater novel itself is a philosophical debate on God, free will, human nature and morality written by Dostoevsky over 2 years and published in 1880. As with all of Dostoyevsky’s novels it is set in a modernizing Russia and it is a deep psychological study of faith and reason, as well as the doubt, psychology, moral decisions and the thought processes that occur during man’s journey to enlightenment and greater awareness. Although The Brothers Karamazov itself is a work of art and one of the greatest novels ever written the true genius of “The Grand Inquisitor” chapter is that
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It is not that he finds issue with all belief in the supernatural it is only certain forms of religion. He states in his article “Socialism and Christianity”, that he takes issue with Catholicism because it had become proto-socialist in that the catholic church is now more involved in bureaucracy than it is with the ideas of Jesus; and that Protestantism will be a great failure of mankind in that it will lead to more liberalism and thus loss of faith and spirituality. He felt the only true form of Christianity that worked was Russian Orthodoxy. Thus we can see that Dostoyevsky, far from being an enlightened man of science, was actually a conservative man of god and religious tradition – but what were his motives?
When first reading “The Grand Inquisitor” I felt Dostoyevsky was trying to say that, although he was aware of mans need to invent superstitions and mysticism to explain his reality, he did not feel man was capable of dealing with this reality; that man presented with the knowledge of Darwinian natural selection and the true reality of life would suffer too much anxiety and pain and that it was better for man to believe in an almighty power, an afterlife and a power greater than himself. Thus man is able to find peace even if this peace has no truth in reality. The Grand Inquisitor felt he and few other men of the church alone could handle this knowledge and that burning a few innocent folks to
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