The Novelist as Theologian

Dostoevsky
Language, Faith, and Fiction
Rowan Williams
Baylor University Press, $24.95, 290 pp.

One of the problems with Dostoevsky is that too many readers have read into his novels the ideas they wanted to find there, so that for secular readers he was an early existentialist who argued for an anguished agnosticism, while for many believers he was a kind of Christian apologist. Neither reading does him the courtesy of seeing that he was above all a novelist—a believer, yes, but one who wanted to explore in depth the consequences of unbelief, in a way that someone who wanted to make...

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About the Author

John Garvey is an Orthodox priest and columnist for Commonweal. His most recent book is Seeds of the Word: Orthodox Thinking on Other Religions.