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Author: Tatyana A. Kasatkina
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Doctor of Philological Sciences, Head of the Centre “Dostoevsky and World Culture” at the Gorky Institute of World Literature RAS, Head of the Research Committee for Dostoyevsky's Artistic Heritage within the Scientific Council for the History of World Culture RAS (Moscow).

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For citation:

Kasatkina T.A. Dostoevsky’s Theology: Problems of Understanding and Description. Dostoevsky and World Culture, Philological journal, 2019, No 3(7), pp. 16-33.

Issue: 2019 № 3(7)
Department: HERMENEUTICS. SLOW READING
Pages: 16-33
DOI: 10.22455/2619-0311-2019-3-16-33
UDK: 82+821.161.1+2-1
BBK: 83+83.3(2=411.2)+86.2
Keywords: Dostoevsky, theology, anthropology, personality, “I”, “Masha is laying on the table…”, “Socialism and Christianity”, man in the perspective of God.

Abstract: The first thing to do when speaking about Dostoevsky’s theology, is to describe its fundamental characteristics: those bases that constantly, although in different ways, reveal themselves in all his works (literary texts, A Writer’s Diary, articles about literature and arts, political reviews). The main object Dostoevsky pays attention to is the real nature of man, seen in the perspective of God. His main idea comes to be man’s uncomplete manifestation during his existence in the “proximate and visible in its flowing immediacy”. Therefore, man does not know himself, he is confused; he cannot detect fundamental values, and find for them the right hierarchy. One of the fundamental oppositions in Dostoevsky’s theology concerns the “law of personality” and the “law of personality on Earth” (the existence of personality within the boundaries of the “I”). Depending on which of those two laws lays at the basis of his existence, man will reach opposite destinations through opposite methods, opposite values, and life goals. However, we should not think of the “law of personality on Earth” as something vain and useless, as an erroneous and superfluous condition. The “I” with its severe boundaries is the only place where a “personality in the highest state of its development”, refusing this “I”, can ripen and reach the highest state of its development.

 

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