Saturday, 9 January 2010

Dostoyevsky: faith and unbelief

The following is all from the handout that Alexis produced for sacred:space on Sat night. A mixture of talk, film clip (BBC Crime and Punishment) reading (The Idiot), dialogue (Brothers Karamazov) and guided meditation using quotes from his books with candles, icons and orthodox music. An excellent, thought-provoking evening. And even the snow and cold made it feel more like St Petersburg.
Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky

Dostoevsky is widely recognised as the father of existentialism. His insights into the human condition have had a huge impact in both literature, philosophy and psychology: as far-reaching as Nietzsche, Freud and Kafka. His novels mark the dawn of the modern era with his intense exploration of human pscyhology in the troubles political, social and spiritual context of 19th century Russia.

“Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.”

If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love but every living force on which the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once.”

Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.

“To live without Hope is to cease to live.

“To love someone means to see him as God intended him.”

“It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them -- the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”

“A just cause is not ruined by a few mistakes.”

“The soul is healed by being with children.”

Major Works

1846 – Poor Folk

1864 - Notes from the Underground

1866 – Crime and Punishment

1867 – The Gambler

1869 – The Idiot

1872 – Demons

1875 – The Adolescent

1881 – The Brothers Karamazov

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