Dostoevsky and the Icon

By: Andrea Serra  

For Dostoevsky, reason represent a twentieth part of the human essence and reducing a human being to the sole dimension of reason have the same meaning of considering him as a number. In his Notebook, a little bit before die, we can read: "my hosanna has passed through an enormous furnace of doubt." Dostoevsky was tormented by doubt - in a letter to his friend Fonvizina (1854) he called himself "child of unbelief." However, it was precisely the incompleteness of reason compared to the divine infinity that made him produce an authentic faith. What I would like to show in my speech is precisely this relationship (faith and reason) in the Fyodor Dostoevsky's thought. Citing authors such as Paul Evdokimov, Hans K√ľng, Father Pavel Florensky etc. I would like to analyze this relationship in the light of the "symbol," the orthodox icon, which in Dostoevsky's novels presents itself as a painting (Holbein, Lorrain) and which contains in itself that mystery (apophatic thought) that, since the age of seventeen, our author discovered as a main characteristic of human being: man is a mystery.

Liberty, Faith, Orthodoxy
Religious Foundations
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Andrea Serra

assistant of research, Department of Social Sciences and Institutions, PhD in History of political thought , Italy