Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
George P. Grant
This thesis is a study of Dostoyevsky's critique of the West. Although Westerners interested in Dostoyevsky's thought have noted his concern with the West, they have generally failed to give serious attention to his enucleation of what he considered to be the crisis of the modern West. The absence of a serious and thorough study of Dostoyevsky's critique of the West can be attributed largely to the assumption that his observations about the West are unrelated to his best thought. Insofar as his observations about the crisis of the West are "political", they are thought to bear no genuine relation to his more profound "religious" thought. His teaching about the West tends to be be related to the nationalist prejudice which supposedly characterized him as a nineteenth century Russian, rather than to the religious thought which speaks to all men. This thesis, however, argues that Dostoyevsky's political analysis of the West, and his religious thought, are held together in his idea of the best human order. It is this idea which, above all, informs his elucidation of the Western crisis, and his recommendation for the overcoming of this crisis. The primary intention of this study, then, is to expound Dostoyevsky's teaching about the West, demonstrating that his political observations about the West constitute a coherent critique which is intimately related to his religious thought. This exposition is chiefly concerned with his critical assessment, in the light of his religious thought, of the attempt of modern Western thought and practice to resolve the problem of human order. This involves his consideration of modern liberalism and socialism, and of Western Christianity. It is hoped that the fulfillment of the primary intention of this thesis will serve the larger purpose of ascertaining whether or not Dostoyevsky can shed any light on the situation in which the modern West finds itself. Because the overriding concern of this study is to render Dostoyevsky's critique of the West more accessible to Westerners, it is primarily expository in nature. Some critical assessment, however, will be made of his teaching about the West in regard to the requirements of his own thought.
Ward, Bruce Kinsey, "Dostoyevsky's Critique of the West" (1980). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 3113.