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Transcendent Love

Dostoevsky and the Search for a Global Ethic

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In Transcendent Love: Dostoevsky and the Search for a Global Ethic, Leonard G. Friesen ranges widely across Dostoevsky's stories, novels, journalism, notebooks, and correspondence to demonstrate how Dostoevsky engaged with ethical issues in his times and how those same issues continue to be relevant to today's ethical debates. Friesen contends that the Russian ethical voice, in particular Dostoevsky's voice, deserves careful consideration in an increasingly global discussion of moral philosophy and the ethical life. Friesen challenges the view that contemporary liberalism provides a religiously neutral foundation for a global ethic. He argues instead that Dostoevsky has much to offer when it comes to the search for a global ethic, an ethic that for Dostoevsky was necessarily grounded in a Christian concept of an active, extravagant, and transcendent love. Friesen also investigates Dostoevsky's response to those who claimed that contemporary European trends, most evident in the rising secularization of nineteenth-century society, provided a more viable foundation for a global ethic than one grounded in the One, whom Doestoevsky called simply "the Russian Christ." Throughout, Friesen captures a sense of the depth and sheer loveliness of Dostoevsky's canon.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 18, 2016 – Friesen, who teaches Russian history and global ethics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, knows his Dostoevsky. Readers and critics have long been enthralled by the 19th-century Russian novelist's impassioned exploration of existential questions about God, the limits of freedom and reason, and the nature of evil. Friesen argues that Dostoevsky develops an ethic that is both distinctly Russian and Christian, seen in his nonfiction but more powerfully and imaginatively put forth in his novels. Their unforgettable characters, from the tortured and brilliant young murderer Raskolnikov of Crime and Punishment to the monks Zosima and Alyosha of The Brothers Karamazov, ask, answer, and doubt the basis for an ethic that would guide people in daily living. Friesen situates the writer in his late 19th-century era, when Russia was torn between liberalizing European influences and nationalistic and mystical views of Russian identity. His argument is deeply rooted in texts, and so will be best followed by those in the academy who know the Russian writer well. But Dostoevsky engaged timeless concerns of thoughtful legatees of Western Enlightenment, and Friesen's subject is more than academic. Readers interested in the ethics at play in Dostoevsky's novels will find Friesen's reading perspicacious and engaging.
Transcendent Love
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  • $29.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Christianity
  • Published: Apr 13, 2016
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
  • Seller: Ingram DV LLC
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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