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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

  • Classification – name: Literary studies
  • Author: Tatyana A. Kasatkina
  • Pages: 157-266
  • Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
  • Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
  • Rights – URL: Visit Website
  • Language of the publication: Russian
  • Type of document: Research Article
  • Collection: Dostoevsky’s Theology
  • DOI:
  • Year of publication: 2021
  • Place of publication: Moscow
  • PDF


About the author:

Tatiana A. Kasatkina, DSc in Philology, Director of Research, Head of the Research Centre “Dostoevsky and World Culture”, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25A, bld. 1, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The chapter attempts to describe Dostoevsky’s theology as a cohesive system of worldview, figurative principles, and methods of text organization which aim to transform the reader. A system that is not borrowed but rather created by the author himself, who recurs to something alien only when it meets his deep internal demand — which means, essentially, when what he found outside himself corresponds to what was generated inside. The work describes the basic features of Dostoevsky’s theology: its foundations, i.e. what constantly, and yet in different ways, appear through his oeuvre — his literary works, A Writer’s Diary, articles about literature and arts, commentaries on politics. Dostoevsky-theologian proposes a view of the world and the human being as both related to God; he also introduces an interpretation of the qualities of the Divine, which is normally impeded by our everyday conscience. Moreover, he does not impose this new worldview aggressively or tyrannically but leaving to the reader the possibility to turn away from the final acceptance of it and of the consequences that follow this completely different way of seeing. Dostoevsky’s writing strategy is on principle retreat, not advancement. Because of this, the description of Dostoevsky’s theology and philosophy as a system whose coherence lies within itself, which is irreducible to our own expectations, and which refuses to be forcibly interpretated within the frameworks of other worldviews or systems, is a difficult aim that can be achieved only through reliable skills of philological analysis and hermeneutical interpretation.

  • Keywords: Dostoevsky, theology, anthropology, personality, “I”, “Masha is lying on the table…”, “Socialism and Christianity”, man in the perspective of God, theology of sin, Eleusinian mysteries, gnostic paradigm.


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