A Reason for the Pain: Dostoevsky's Answer to the Problem of Pain in The Brothers Karamazov

A Reason for the Pain: Dostoevsky's Answer to the Problem of Pain in The Brothers Karamazov

“In sorrow, seek happiness.”  So says Father Zossima in The Brothers Karamazov, Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky’s literary homage to the problem of pain and suffering.  A murder mystery extraordinaire, this novel traces the history of one Ivan Karamazov, eldest brother of the Karamazovs and an intellectual humanist.  Frustrated by the problem of evil and its implications regarding the nature of God and His posture toward man, Ivan conceives of atheism as a kind of work around.  He reasons that if there is no God, then there is no supreme moral law and no eternity. 

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"Tempter, methinks thou art too late:" Grace and Community in The Scarlet Letter

"Tempter, methinks thou art too late:" Grace and Community in The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s legendary novel, The Scarlet Letter, gets a bad rap. It’s set in the Puritan town of Boston, Massachusetts in the 1640s, a time during which the church dictated literally everything about society: not only public policy and government, but also private morality... 

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An Apology for "The Hovel"

An Apology for "The Hovel"

I think my husband is tired of letting me name things. Our life is becoming a living encyclopedia for the work of William Shakespeare. We have a car named “Hal,” a plant named “Brutus,” and I’m trying to figure out how to convince Ian to let me use “Miranda” as the middle name of a future daughter. (I have a particularly soft spot in my heart for The Tempest.) Needless to say, when it was time to dream up titles for all of our new endeavors at CenterForLit, nothing was safe...

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