In this book, Paul Contino offers a theological interpretation of Dostoevsky’s novel “The Brothers Karamazov.” The author introduces the concept of “incarnational realism”: a method used by Dostoevsky to animate and enspirit his heroes — applying the concept especially to Alyosha Karamazov, to the person who, as the novel’s hero, makes decisions and accomplishes deeds. The book examines in detail the figure of the Elder Zosima, and how, in his role as spiritual leader with his vision of responsibility for each and for all, influences Alyosha. Attention is also paid to Alyosha’s brothers — to Mitya, who is trying to become a “new man,” and to Ivan, who struggles with his own agonized striving toward his own sense of responsibility for the family tragedy.”
Paul Contino is Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Pepperdine University, and lecturer in its Great Books Colloquium. Contino’s research is devoted to the religious dimensions of literature. Among other authors, he has written on Dante Alighieri and Mikhail Bakhtin.