My Reaction to The Brothers Karamazov–Part 14: The Russian Monk (cont’d)

In the previous post we looked at applications of the idea that we are each responsible to all for all, drawn from the teachings of Father Zossima on the last night of his life. We looked at how this idea ought to affect our relations with children, our attitudes toward criminals, and our response to the wickedness in the world around us. Now we will take up the application about which Father Zossima had the most to say: relations between masters and servants. Continue reading “My Reaction to The Brothers Karamazov–Part 14: The Russian Monk (cont’d)”

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My Reaction to The Brothers Karamazov–Part 13: The Russian Monk (cont’d)

The idea that we are each responsible to all for all was the heartbeat of Father Zossima’s life and ministry. But what does this look like? And is it really possible to find happiness and joy in a life based on this idea?

Let us begin with some quotes from Father Zossima as he unpacks this idea in greater detail. Continue reading “My Reaction to The Brothers Karamazov–Part 13: The Russian Monk (cont’d)”

Was It All for Nothing?

Well, it looks as if all the trouble I went to to write a response to The Da Vinci Code may have been for naught.

Michael Spencer saw the movie and wasn’t too crazy about it.

Neither was Catholic blogger Amy Welborn.

If these reviews are any indication, the movie was not even remotely close to being worth all the trouble that the evangelical world, myself included, has taken to respond to it. Kind of funny, if you think about it, that all these evangelicals got so worked up over a movie that is proving to be a colossal flop, if these reviews are to be believed.

This is not surprising. After all, we as evangelicals are extremely well-known for our habit of working ourselves up into a tizzy over things that turn out to be nothing at all. Anybody remember Y2K? Or how about The Last Temptation of Christ, which would have been one of the biggest box office flops of all time if not for the attention drawn to it by evangelical outrage?

I’ve been snookered!!! I actually believed that The Da Vinci Code and the issues raised in it were legitimate concerns worthy of serious attention in this space. So stay tuned for future diatribes on the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch, UFOs, the JFK conspiracy theories, and NASA’s conspiracy to fake the moon landings.

Oh well. Back to The Brothers Karamazov.

My Reaction to The Brothers Karamazov–Part 10: The Russian Monk

One of the most important characters in The Brothers Karamazov is the elder Father Zossima. No analysis of The Brothers Karamazov would be complete without at least one post about him.

“Elders” were unofficial spiritual leaders who emerged within certain monasteries in Russia. Elders had a special place in Russian Orthodox tradition, which Dostoyevsky explains in detail in the book. Father Zossima was the elder at the monastery near the town where the Karamazovs lived. He emerged as such because he was a gentle, loving, and humble servant whom the other monks were willing to trust and submit to as a spiritual leader. Over the course of his life he earned the respect of the entire community because of his great love and humility. Continue reading “My Reaction to The Brothers Karamazov–Part 10: The Russian Monk”