The Grand Inquisitor in Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Throughout Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Eastern versus Western ideas are constantly being introduced and in turn debated, sometimes violently. This being the case, it would be uncharacteristic of Dostoevsky to include such an extensive account, The Grand Inquisitor, against Christ and there not to be an East versus West theme. Eastern versus Western may be understood as Orthodox versus Roman Catholic although it is not to be restricted only within the scope of religious debates. The differences between the two are prevalent in other areas of life including: the self and social life. These topics will be discussed directly, and the foundation of each manifest themselves in multiple ways; although sublet their importance must be noted. The focus of this essay is to explore why Ivan’s inquisitor was wrong. As in many religious debates, especially concerning the Bible, differences often come subtly and may end in agreeing to disagree; although there must be a correct way of thinking. These subtle differences are—somewhat regularly—opposing beliefs concerning one word or only a few words. Yet, these differing beliefs in words and what they mean to each believer may seem insignificant to the untrained eye. But they come to define religions and societies, set ground for debates and wars, and, in the case of the Karamazov’s, split blood. Although Ivan’s Grand Inquisitor formulates a compelling argument against the actions of Christ—condemning Him for allowing
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