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2021 Vol. 12 №4

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Czesław Miłosz’s “Theological treatise” in the context of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s religious worldview

DOI
10.5922/2225-5346-2021-4-6
Pages
107-122

Abstract

The article investigates a religious and philosophical dialogue of Miłosz and Dostoevsky. The antinomic content of Miłosz's poem “Theological Treatise” is analyzed in the context of Dostoevsky's Christocentric worldview, as well as religious and heretical teachings of early Christianity, which aroused Milosz's interest throughout his career. In their works, Dostoev­sky and Miłosz explored the theological problem of apoсatastasis and offered their interpreta­tion of it. The paper also examines Miłosz’s contribution as an essayist to the comparative study of Dostoevsky's works (Dostoevsky — Mickiewicz and Dostoevsky — Swedenborg). The ideological basis of “Theological Treatise” is the dialectical relationship between faith and truth, which is associated with Miłosz's appeal to Dostoevsky's ‘creed’ from his famous letter to Fonvisina. Like Dostoevsky, Miłosz criticizes the natural-scientific concept of truth in its depersonalized and, therefore, dehumanized version, which seems to the author of “Theologi­cal Treatise” as an instrument of ‘devilish theology’. In a dialogue with the traditions of Rus­sian religious philosophy, and above all with Dostoevsky’s legacy, Miłosz turns to the Apoca­lypse, in which the most aesthetically significant the idea for him is that of ​​restoring paradisi­acal existence. However, unlike Dostoevsky, the concept of life after death in “Theological Treatise” is not free from pessimism and skepticism. Miłosz is inclined towards the ideological paradigm of the West, and the concept of “Theological Treatise” includes the ideas of Dosto­evsky's unbelieving heroes.

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