Face to Face with DOSTOEVSKY

A journey in the company of his villains in quest for our own humanity

A presentation by Dr. Olga MEERSON, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages, Georgetown University, author of Dostoevsky's Taboos

Presented by Crossroads Cultural Center & co-sponsored by Columbia Campus Ministry

Dostoevsky is truly one of "our" authors, a writer who expressed prophetically the great struggle that we also face. It has been said that the history the last hundred years has simply been the unfolding of the great ideologies of the XIX century: scientism, socialism, individualism, progressivism. While all of them at some level present an option for atheism, what was clear to Dostoevsky is that what is really at stake in the modern world is humanity. Paradoxically, the attempt to remove God ends up eliminating humanity, by denying that most profound dimension of our being which is freedom. Dostoevsky realized that to be human means to be a relationship with the Infinite, with the Mystery, which calls to mind a quote from The Possessed which was dear to Fr. Giussani, "The whole law of human existence consists of making it possible for man to bow down before what is infinitely great. If man were to be deprived of the infinitely great, he would refuse to go on living, and die of despair." This deprivation of the Mystery, and thus the withering away of freedom, is truly the predicament of modern man. But the Mystery does not give up on us, and keeps creeping back into history and calling our freedom back to Himself. Few writers have been as aware of this drama as Dostoevsky, and for this reason he is for us still today a guide and a teacher of humanity.

After our homage to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn for his relentless love for freedom this past March, this event on Dostoevsky and the unique greatness of the "I" (as we will see) is the second step on a journey that will bring us to explore, in the next couple of years, some other fascinating aspects of the Russian culture, aspects that we believe are relevant to us:

The next step will highlight the belonging to a people as the essential dimension of the individual in a few Russian composers, followed by the beauty of the "icons" as a unique representation of the relationship between the creature and the Mystery of God. Finally, the status of the dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox church in light of the apostolate of Pope Benedict XVI and the Metropolite of Moscow.

About this Event

Date: Friday, October 16, 2009
Time: 7pm
Location: Columbia University, Main Campus, Earl Hall Auditorium
116th Street & Broadway, New York

About the Speakers

Dr. Olga Meerson
Associate Professor of Slavic Languages, Georgetown University, author of Dostoevsky's Taboos


Download the Invitation here


Read the transcript here


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