Author: Tatiana G. Magaril-Il’yaeva
Information about the author:

Associate Researcher at the Centre “F.M. Dostoevsky and World Culture”, Gorky Institute of World Literature RAS (Moscow).

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For citation:

Magaril-Il’yaeva T.G., Dostoevsky’s Theology in the Understanding of Berdyaev. Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philological Journal, 2020, No. 3 (11). Pp. 117-139.

Issue: 2020 no. 3 (11)
Pages: 117-139
UDK: 821.161.1+2+13
BBK: 83.3(2=411.2)+86
Keywords: N. Berdyaev, F.M. Dostoevsky, “The Worldview of Dostoevsky”, “The Meaning of the Creative Act”, Theology, Creative Act
Abstract: The article analyses the methods used by N. Berdyaev to reveal and present the theological level of Dostoevsky’s works in his book “The Worldview of Dostoevsky” and partly in “The Meaning of the Creative Act”. The article is divided into two parts, as Berdyaev not only describes Dostoevsky’s religious and philosophical system but also founds it on his own idea of the sacred essence of the creative act; this fact leads the philosopher to the necessity of forming a special research method considering the deepest basis of the creative process. The first part of the article is dedicated to Berdyaev’s research method, based on the idea of a true understanding reached through the creative act, that goes beyond art and reveals itself as an expression of the tension and movement of the human spirit searching for Truth. This first part considers the main statements of Berdyaev’s “theory” about the act of creating, underlying (as the philosopher thinks) Dostoevsky’s creative process as a process of an active relationship with God. The article analyses the research method of the author’s spiritual world, described in “Dostoevsky’s worldview”. The second part of the article describes the key moments of Dostoevsky’s theological system, showing how it is similar to every man’s spiritual path – i.e. showing how Berdyaev thinks about the writer’s theology not as a combination of statements about God and the Divine nature, but as a practical method for the man to move towards God and a transfigured nature.


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