Russ352 / Huma381 - Dostoevsky


Course Handouts
Course Description

Welcome to RUSS 352 / HUMA 381!

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Prof. Ewa Thompson


ethomp@rice.eduPlace: TBA



This course is about a writer of fiction who grappled with the fundamental problems of human existence. He asked, what is good and evil? What is permissible if God does not exist? Dostoevsky is the one who wrote:

"There are three powers, three powers alone, able to conquer and to hold captive forever the conscience of these impotent rebels. . . those forces are miracle, mystery and authority. . . for man seeks not so much God as the miraculous."

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He also wrote:

"As man cannot bear to be without the miraculous, he will create new miracles of his own for himself, and will worship deeds of sorcery and witchcraft. . . . We have corrected Thy work and have founded it upon miracle, mystery and authority. . . Oh, the work is only beginning, but it has begun. . . [And when it ends] all will be happy, all the millions of creatures except the hundred thousand who rule over them. For only we, we who guard the mystery, shall be unhappy."



Come and  explore with us these and other provocative statements of Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Krasinski, Schiller and Alasdair MacIntyre.

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Copyright by Ewa Thompson, 2010.

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This page was last modified 12/01/09