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Dostoevsky (Making of the Christian Imagination)

Dostoevsky (Making of the Christian Imagination) [Kindle Edition]

Rowan Williams
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description


After reading Williams' book, we return to Dostoevsky with new insight on what it means to be human. -N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham

Product Description

Rowan Williams explores the intricacies of speech, fiction, metaphor, and iconography in the works of one of literature's most complex, and most complexly misunderstood, authors. Williams' investigation focuses on the four major novels of Dostoevsky's maturity (Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Devils, and The Brothers Karamozov). He argues that understanding Dostoevsky's style and goals as a writer of fiction is inseparable from understanding his religious commitments. Any reader who enters the rich and insightful world of Williams' Dostoevsky will emerge a more thoughtful and appreciative reader for it.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 616 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1602581452
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press (1 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #374,988 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A long-sought book, though just written 17 Feb 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Overall this book is proving highly stimulating, helping me to see not only Dostoevsky's fiction more clearly but also my own. Often I have to read passages more than once to chase the meaning, but unlike John Jones's volume on the same subject the meaning does eventually give itself up. The argument steadily and convincingly advances, and my chief disagreement so far is with the author's portrayal of Prince Myshkin, which has prompted me to re-read The Idiot. Any lover of Dostoevsky's novels will find this a rewarding well of deep insights.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard going! 23 May 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was recommended when I chose a book by Timothy Radcliffe. I thought that probably meant that it would be equivalent "weight". To be honest -- being a scientist with theological interests, rather than a person with literary skills and knowledge (particularly regarding Russian authors), I was often out of my depth.

I appreciate that that is my problem,and not necessarily the author's. I found that the book did raise profound issues, and it was interesting to see how much Doestoevsky was up to speed on theological matters of his day. I can't imagine an English author seeing as much space to exploring the consequences of being God-anchored or a convinced atheist, against the uncommitted stance. It was also interesting to see how Dostoevsky endeavoured to avoid both collectivism and individualism in exploring the "real".

If you like hard mental work, this might be the book for you! (Perhaps not for anyone looking for an entre to a Russian author.)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dostoevsky by Rowan Williams 11 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this study Archbishop Williams shows us he is a
literary critic of the highest order. A thorough
knowledge of the major novels is assumed. For those
who have this knowledge, there is insight on virtually
every page . In the course of close reading, the author
uses his knowledge of theology and the Christian east
to tease out Dostoevsky's evolving religious thinking.
Rowan Williams knows the secondary literature on
Dostoevsky in both Russian and English and engages with
this scholarship in fertile ways. For readers of Dostoevsky
the book is an essential study. A great book in the true
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating and considered 28 April 2014
Like other reviewers, I was directed to this book by Timothy Radcliffe's excellent What Is the Point of Being a Christian?. I read - and greatly enjoyed - most of Dostoevsky's best-known works (Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Devils, The Brothers Karamazov, and Notes from the Underground) a long time ago, but (or maybe hence) was a little hazy on the details of the plots and characters. Not like Rowan Williams, who's intimately familiar with the texts and the historical and academic literature about their author (he even brings steps in at one point (p45) to give his own translation of an significant phrase from Karamazov).

However, although it's essential for the reader of this book to have at least some familiarity with the stories (for example, the parable that Ivan Karamazov tells about the Grand Inquisitor's encounter with Christ), I wouldn't necessarily say it was crucial that they refresh their memories of all the details before tackling this, because the author works hard to tease out the ideas that he's interested in.
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