existentialist of orthodox christen?

Bisschop Hilarion Alfeyev over Dostojewsky
Bisschop Hilarion AlfeyevThe year 2006 marked several dates related to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, such as the 125th anniversary of his death, the 160th birthday of his wife Anna, the 145th anniversary of his novel „The Insulted and Humiliated,„ the 140th anniversary of „Crime and Punishment,„ the 135th anniversary of „The Devils,„ and the 125th anniversary of „The Brothers Karamazov.„ Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria, representative of the Moscow Patriarchate to the European institutions shares his views on Christian contents in the great author’s creative work with Interfax-Religion.
What does Dostoyevsky mean to you?
He has played a very important part in my religious formation. I read all Dostoyevsky’s novels and diaries by the age of fifteen. His philosophy of life has largely shaped my way of looking at the problems of human life. Dostoyevsky was a giant unsurpassed by any in the Russian literature.
As to Dostoyevsky’s literary talent, there were authors who possessed expert skills in writing, like Leo Tolstoy or Vladimir Nabokov. It is known that Dostoyevsky wrote not only because he wanted to write, but also because life itself made him write to earn his living. He was paid for the number of pages, rather than for his ideas and brilliant thoughts. Sometimes he was too verbose and could not express himself laconically. Rather often he was accused of making his characters too soulful and hysterical, violently expressing their emotions.
„If there is no God,
anything is permitted.„
Fjodor DostojewskyHowever, all these shortcomings do not reduce Dostoyevsky’s importance as a greatest writer in the history of humanity. He managed to penetrate into the innermost depths of the human being, to raise the most difficult and important questions about the meaning of life, God’s existence and the relationship between human freedom and God’s justice. After he had served his term of hard labour he remained a deeply believing person and Orthodox Christian till his death. Yet, judging by his works, the question of God’s existence remained open to him. The main story of all his novels, „Crime and Punishment,„ „The Devils,„ or „The Brothers Karamazov,„ is that of whether God exists. The scale of moral values offered to the human beings depends on the answer to this question. That is why one of his characters says: „If there is no God, anything is permitted.„ In other words, if there is no God, there is no absolute scale of moral values, and all the values are relative. I think that Dostoyevsky’s power is in that he showed in all his works that salvation and morality are impossible without God. Only faith in God guarantees moral survival of every human being and all humanity. I had believed in God even before I got to know Dostoyevsky’s works, but the author contributed to my growing in the faith, in Orthodoxy.
Bron: orthodoxeurope.org