Siniša Radenković

The Grand Inquisitor – Theater of Ontological Discussion

pages: 619-630


From a literary aspect and due to the dominant way of narration, the novels and characters of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky gravitate toward realism. However, dramatic discussions, interwoven philosophical dialogues and innovations in literature made him very close to modernism. Unlike blessed Augustine’s Confessions, subjective psychological authority did not prevail in the Grand Inquisitor, but a considerably elaborate ontological retrospective of humankind. Many critics specifically noticed in his writings the clear domination of a psychological disclosure of his characters. As a consequence of psychological analysis morality appears as the guarantor of mankind. This analysis would impoverish the rich treasury of ontological and Christological pearls. The Grand Inquisitor is not only a schizophrenic abstraction and projection of the psychologically exhausted human mind, but also the existential threat of modernity to man’s Christ–like dignity.

The primary scope of this essay is to point out indirectly the intrinsic bond between patristic theology and the literary characters of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky and, therefore, his entire creativity. Consequently, the starting point of this paper is the synthesis of orthodox ontology and literature, and later analysis looks at presented problems from the orthodox theological perspective.




821.161.1.09-31 Достојевски Ф.М.


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