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Culture and Arts, Theology

The Karamazov CaseThe Russia Question Hosts Terrence Tilley

Published on: March 11, 2024
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The Russia Question is a book talk series devoted to all things Russia, hosted by Russian program director at Fordham University (LC) Prof. Michael Ossorgin, with generous support from the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

The Karamazov Case: Dostoevsky's Argument for His Vision

This episode features an interview with theologian Terrence Tilley about his book “The Karamazov Case: Dostoevsky’s Argument for his Vision” (T&T Clark, 2023).

About the book: “This is a new interpretation of Dostoevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov that scrutinizes it as a performative event (the “polyphony” of the novel) revealing its religious, philosophical, and social meanings through the interplay of mentalités or worldviews that constitute an aesthetic whole. This way of discerning the novel’s social vision of sobornost’ (a unity between harmony and freedom), its vision of hope, and its more subtle sacramental presuppositions, raises Tilley’s interpretation beyond the standard “theology and literature” treatments of the novel and interpretations that treat the novel as providing solutions to philosophical problems.

“Tilley develops Bakhtin’s thoughtful analysis of the polyphony of the novel using communication theory and readers/hearer response criticism, and by using Bakhtin’s operatic image of polyphony to show the error of taking “faith vs. reason”, argues that at the end of the novel, the characters learned to carry on, in a quiet shared commitment to memory and hope.”

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Public Orthodoxy seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in this essay are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

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Public Orthodoxy seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in the articles on this website are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

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Public Orthodoxy is a publication of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University