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The Grand Inquisitor

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  3,901 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
An unabridged extract from Dostoevsky's celebrated Novel, The Brothers Karamazof -
Paperback, 48 pages
Published December 23rd 2009 by Merchant Books (first published 1880)
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Know, then, that now, precisely now, these people are more certain than ever before that they are completely free, and at the same time they themselves have brought us their freedom and obediently laid it at our feet. It is our doing, but is it what you wanted? This sort of freedom?

This is a chapter from one of my favorite novels, The Brothers Karamazov. Some friends already know about my unconditional love for Dostoyevsky's work. Anything I say is extremely subjective and ultimately forgettab
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Los tunantes me dan vaya con mi, al parecer, inculta y reaccionaria creencia en Dios. Esos imbéciles no han podido en la vida ni siquiera soñar una negación de Dios cual la que se expresa en mi Gran Inquisidor y todo el capítulo que le precede, y a la que responde el libro entero. Si yo creo en Dios, no creo a la manera de los tontos (como un fanático). ¡Y esos quieren darme lecciones y se ríen de mis cortos alcances! Esos estúpidos no han podido soñar siquiera con un poder de negación como el ...more
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Die Beurteilung fällt mir schwer. Ein Buch voller Bitterkeit, Hartherzigkeit, Pessimismus und vernichtender Kritik an allem Guten, Schönen und Freiheitlichem. Das Buch besteht hauptsächlich aus dem Monolog des Großinquisitors, der engagiert seine philosophischen, theologischen und soziologischen Aufassung dem wieder auferstandenen Jesus um die Ohren schlägt. Seine Überzeugungen kann man nicht schlichtweg ablehnen. Die Kritik an der katholischen Kirche hat sicherlich viel Wahres. Interessant ist ...more
Skylar Burris
Oct 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this short story from the BK several times, and every time I read it, it moves me deeply. It inspires me to reflect on the radical freedom offered by Christ, to sorrow for the weakness of man in feeling he needs to surrender his freedom to governments and religious institutions for bread and security and justification, and also to feel gratitude for the gentle, liberating love of Christ, which woos rather than demands. Every time I read this story, it inspires a new question, a new c ...more
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though this is indeed a great work of literature, it is important to remember that is part of a larger and even greater piece of literature. I am not a fan of only reading a single chapter out of a larger work as I believe a reader will be missing out on what the author is truly trying to say. This is especially the case with this chapter. If you found this chapter captivating and extraordinary, I implore you to read the entire text of "The Brothers Karamazov". The chapter, "Talks and Homilies F ...more
Ammara Abid
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal !
This one brought my attention to the book
'The Brothers Karamazov' which I never forget to read. But waiting for the right time i.e. isolation with less work pressure, partially underground as one can't be completely before time.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ως ενα μικρό κομμάτι απο μια μεγάλη ιστορία "οι αδελφοί Καραμαζοβ" ειναι εκπληκτικο.
Πως μπορεις να αντισταθεις και να μην διαβασεις ολοκληρο ??νομιζω δεν μπορεις.
Απο τα βιβλια που κάθε φορά που τα διαβαζεις παίρνεις και κάτι διαφορετικό.
Dec 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unbelievable. I had read Brothers Karamazov a few years back, but had a desire to crack it open to reread the Grand Inquisitor portion that this book is excerpted from (beginning with Alyosha and Ivan meeting at the bar, and ending when they leave). This is perhaps the best exposition of Jesus' temptations ever to be written, and it has a great deal to say about human freedom. It's one of those books I will probably need to read every year or two to keep it fresh in my mind.
Adriana Scarpin
Um dos mais belos escritos cometido pela mão humana.

Really blew my mind when I read it as a standalone short story when I was in high school. Just a curious and eager kid trying to break in to the big books and the big authors...
Ana Rînceanu
I have not read the Brothers Karamazov yet, but after reading this I'm definitely looking forward to it.
The Grand Inquisitor by Russian author and philosopher Fyodor Dostoyevsky is one of, if not the best book on religion. In this book the plot is fairly simple it’s about Jesus imprisoned by an Inquisitor who lectures him about giving mankind free will and releases him after his lengthy lecture. When I first picked up the Grand Inquisitor I chose it because I saw the name Dostoyevsky printed on the front cover and the angry looking old man on the cover, eager to know what treasure wa
Ben Crandell
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so 'The Brothers Karamazov' was perhaps the most influential book I have ever read. I was quite pleased to find that this "book" is really just a small piece of that story. Brother Ivan (the Atheist) is telling his little brother Alyosha (the pious one) a fictional tale about the return of Christ during the Inquisition. The Grand Inquisitor arrests Christ and informs Him that he intends to burn Him at the stake although he knows exactly who he is. Only Dostoyevsky could wade into such deep a ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
You know how practices of all religions degrade with time from the way they were originally supposed to be to how powerful pretenders want it to be. Perhaps this decline is natural to mankind - just look at how Abrahamic religions have fallen to pretenders after each prophet - Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad; or look at similar degradation of Hinduism and Buddhism in east.

'The Grand Inquisitor', which is but a section of Fyodor Dosteyvesky's novel 'Brothers Karamzov', documents this degradati
Wow - there is quite a bit of truth in here!

Dostoyevsky continues to impress me with both the depth of his subjects and the eloquence with which he explores them:

"There exists no greater or more painful anxiety for a
man who has freed himself from all religious bias, than how he
shall soonest find a new object or idea to worship. But man seeks
to bow before that only which is recognized by the greater
majority, if not by all his fellow-men, as having a right to be
worshiped; whose rights are so unque
Read this quick goodie in my Utopia/Dystopia class and it was as gripping, powerful, and philosophically tormenting as its reputation would likely suggest. While the language is somewhat difficult, and there are many key references to specific sections from The Bible, its ongoing themes are likely to remain universal until the end of time. Sharply criticizing the madness of extreme authoritarianism with heavy doses of irony and existential dread, The Grand Inquisitor is a brilliant and beautiful ...more
Lynn Joshua
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now I want to read The Brothers Karamazov again.
Kitty Red-Eye
I'm pretty sure I didn't understand half of this, but Even so, one can get something out of it. To me, this passage stood out:

"Knowest Thou not that, but a few centuries hence, and the whole of mankind will have proclaimed in its wisdom and through its mouthpiece, Science, that there is no more crime, hence no more sin on earth, but only hungry people? "Feed us first and then command us to be virtuous!" will be the words written upon the banner lifted against Thee--a banner which shall destroy
Akemi G
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
I read this in college. I don't remember which translation it was, but I just downloaded the free edition translated by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (!) (If you don't know the meaning of that exclamation mark, don't worry about it.) It's a good read.

Now, the rest is my rambling about the so-called must-read books.
I guess there are several types of people who check such books and their lists:
1) Honest, good-hearted people who want to read but need help finding good books to read
2) Snobs who want t
Mattia Lusetti
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stupendo il brano di Dostoevskji, interessantissimo il saggio di Pareyson.
Manohar Lal Solanki
I consider this novel of Foyodor Dostoevsky as an epic. It is a book where Dostoevsky appeals to emotions and feelings through his artistic style of writing novel, he has succeeded in producing profound amount of emotions and feelings in the novel. I will provide the short story of entire novel here. This book is essentially contradicting the idea of Christendom where Christian religion is giving the hopes to people that one day, in future, resurrection of Christ will happen, and Christ will rec ...more
The Grand Inquisitor is really just a chapter extricated from the novel The Brothers Karamazov and The House of the Dead..

This book starts with discussions of Ivan, who explains the poem to Alyosha..
Ivan dives into his poem, he gives Alyosha a little lecture on literary history.
Ivan explains that in the 16th century – which is when the actions of his poem take place – poems and plays were written about holy figures – the Virgin Mary, Christ, angels, even god – coming down to earth and conversi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aasem Bakhshi
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its a short section from Brothers Karamazov (BK) and doesn't make much sense if taken out of the complete narrative, in my opinion. One reason is not knowing the characters of the two interlocutors, i.e., Ivan and Alyosha, apriori. This is the central part of the BK narrative that revolves around the exchange between and agnostic/ atheistic and a mystic. In my view, through the Grand Inquisitor, Dostoevsky juxtaposes an agnostic's desperate struggle to grapple with belief with God's ultimate and ...more
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh Dostoyevsky - you be so naughty!

Either religion is a sham, or, more intriguingly, the iron law of religion is God's gift of happiness.

By the way, this book is excerpted from the Brothers Karazmov. So if you buy that, locate this passage - you can read it out of context.
I have never read this passage IN context, so I have no idea how it links to the story. It seems to me that it may stand alone easily.
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: back-ussr
a wake up call people. only appreciated by the sincerity of youth i guess. people obey to the inquisitors of their time. but will not aknowledge. i was so impressed when i read this that i took a train to seville the same year to see the place myself.
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Non c'è nulla di più allettante per l'uomo che la libertà della sua coscienza, ma non c'è neanche nulla di più tormentoso
Annie James
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Nearly the best part of BK, right after Aloysha and Dmitri's final meeting.
Dec 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in The Brothers Karamazov, and ranked it separately because this scene is deserving of its reputation. Its parent book is still worth reading, but it's very tedious.
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Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the human soul had a profound influence on the 20th century novel.

Dostoyevsky was the second son of a former army doctor. He was educated at home and at a private school. Shortly after the death
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“In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, Make us your slaves, but feed us.” 46 likes
“Man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over that great gift of freedom with which the ill-fated creature is born.” 39 likes
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