Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov: "The Grand Inquisitor"
Read Dostoevsky's "The Grand Inquisitor", which is a parable relayed by one of the characters in Dostoevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov. As you read, consider answering the following questions: Why is Jesus on trial? What is he accused of? List the
temptations Jesus faced, according to the Grand Inquisitor. Then, sketch the main argument against Jesus, as presented by the Grand Inquisitor. Why do you think Jesus is silent for most of the time as the Grand Inquisitor speaks? How does
Dostoevsky suggest that Christ's rejection of the temptations place an unbearable burden, and an unreachable ideal, on humankind? Why does Ivan, who is telling us the story of the Grand Inquisitor, reject God's absolute power?