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Christianity in Dostoyevskys Crime and Punishment An Overview Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote If someone succeded in proving to me that Christ was outside the truth and if indeed the truth was outside Christ then I would sooner remain with Christ than with the truth Frank 68 It was by no means easy for Dostoyevsky to reach this conclusion In Dostoyevskys life one sees that of an intellectual Prodigal Son returning to the Father In Heaven only after all other available systems of belief have been exhausted Reared in a devout Russian Orthodox home Dostoyevsky as a young man rebelled against his upbringing and embraced the anarchist and atheistic philosophies of the intelligentsia radical students and middle class intellectuals violently opposed to the status quo in Nineteenth-Century Russia Morsm 50 Dostoyevsky revolutionary stirrings were not unnoticed by the Tsars secret police and in 1849 Dostoyevsky was sentenced to a mock execution followed by ten years hard labor in a Siberian prison Morsm 50 One critic said It has been customary to say that Dostoyevsky re-learnt Christianity in prison A Boyce Gibson 19 There out of his element and surrounded by hardened criminals he had plenty of time to contemplate life and read The New Testament the only book he was allowed However it was not until his compulsory army service that Dostoyevskys faith began to blossom In the army Dostoyevsky met a fellow officer and devout Christian named Baron von Vrangel who befriended the still young Dostoevesky and helped him re-discover the Christian faith Frank 4 Although a professing Christian for the rest of his life Dostoyevsky was not a plaster saint Until he died he was plagued by doubts and a passion for gambling Instead Dostoyevsky understood perhaps better than any other great Christian author that his faith was created and sustained by one thing only the grace of God It is of such grace that Dostoyevsky writes in Crime and Punishment Although most critics
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