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Tetsuo Mochizuki
Hokkaido University
Núm. 16 (2017), 150º aniversario de la publicación de la obra “Crimen y castigo” de Dostoievski, Páginas 172-182
Recibido: dic 15, 2020 Publicado: nov 30, 2017
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Discussion about the Ecclesiastical Court in the chapter “So Be It! So Be It!” (1-2-V) comprises multifaceted function in “The Brothers Karamazov.”
1) The discussion acquaints us with one of the key questions of the novel: status of the church in Christian society; 2) The discussion opens the door to a series of questions around the trial: our attitudes to sinners, excommunication, and so on; 3) It poses another continual question of the novel: inclusion or exclusion; 4) By way of the Elder Zosima’s argument the discussion introduces the latent message of the novel: generosity or religious tolerance.
Though the discussion itself is a direct response to M. I. Gorchakov’s “Scientific Treatment of the Ecclesiastical Court,” I would like to regard it as a latent suggestion of the author’s attitude to the religious schism in Russia. As is known from the articles in “Citizen” and “Diary of a Writer,” Dostoevsky was very much interested in the problem of how to overcome the schism in Russian church and realize its re-unification. “The Stories of a Pilgrimage and Journey through Russia, Moldavia, Turkey and the Holy Land” by Parfeny, Russian monk and pilgrim, which was one of the major resources of “The Brothers Karamazov,” was also closely related to the idea of recovery of the schism and unification of the eastern Christendom. So it is quite natural to perceive similar sort of message in the Elder Zosima’s argument about the Ecclesiastical Court and excommunication.
The aim of my article is to make clear the multifaceted function of this discussion and its role in the thematic structure of the novel, especially in relation to the writer’s attitude to the religious schism in Russia.


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