Journey to transcendence: Dostoevsky's theological polyphony in Barth's understanding of the Pauline KRISIS

Studies in East European Thought 59 (1-2):3 - 168 (2007)
Anticipating Mikhail Bakhtin’s appreciation for the unfinalizability of Fedor Dostoevskij’s universe, prominent Protestant theologian Karl Barth celebrates the Russian novelist’s presentation of “the impenetrable ambiguity of human life” characteristic of both the ending of Dostoevsky’s novels and Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Barth’s unique reading of The Brothers Karamazov not only demonstrates the barrenness of the “theocratic dream” but also complements Bakhtin’s discussion of polyphony with an explicitly theological dimension by focusing on the dialogue between Creator and the created. Dostoevsky’s prophetic voice provides Barth with a poetic expression of the divine command that highlights the ethical dimension inherent in every theological choice.
Keywords Barth   Dostoevskij   Thurneysen  Bakhtin  Ivan Karamazov  The Grand Inquisitor  KRISIS  Paul   Romans
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