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The Grand Inquistor by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Grand Inquisitor is a parable in the chapter of the same name in the Dostoyevsky novel

The Brothers Karamazov.

The tale is told by Ivan with brief interruptive questions by Alyosha. In the tale, Christ comes back to earth in Seville at the time of the Inquisition. He performs a number of miracles (echoing miracles from the Gospels). The people recognize him and adore him, but he is arrested by Inquisition leaders and sentenced to be burnt to death the next day. The Grand Inquisitor visits him in his cell to tell him that the Church no longer needs him. The main portion of the text is devoted to the Inquisitor explaining to Jesus why his return would interfere with the mission of the Church.

The text is about ten pages and can be found on line at:

Not only does the parable function as a philosophical and religious work in its own right but it also furthers character developement for the novel.Of the two brothers Ivan identifies himself with the Inquisitor and asks his brother for a reaction after relating the parable.

So what does this all mean to us if anything, is Christ relevant as the Gramd Inquisitor tries to convince Christ that he is no longer relevant in the parable, come to the Thinkers Club on November 7, and we will talk about it see you there.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Enjoyed rereading this piece, and also seeing how it's been used in other literature.

    November 12, 2012

  • Pamela Noelle S.

    Sorry i missed another group! Too much coffee=unhappy stomach

    November 7, 2012

  • Vincent

    The discussion will focus on the reading material, this is a philosophy meet up based on the concept of the socretes cafe.

    November 6, 2012

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