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The Brothers Karamazov
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Archives > 7. Suffering humanity

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John Seymour 7. How is Ivan's concern for suffering humanity related to his story of freedom and security in the "Grand Inquisitor" section?


Kristel (kristelh) | 3895 comments Mod
Ivan did not believe in God and morality but did believe that man needed to have rules in order to exist with others and therefore religion and morals served a purpose.


Book Wormy | 1840 comments Mod
Agree with Kristel


message 4: by Pip (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pip | 1343 comments It was Ivan's concern for suffering humanity that led him to question the existence of a loving God. How could God allow such suffering? The Grand Inquisitor is a poem that imagines Jesus returning to be questioned during the Spanish Inquisition. Ivan shows that God has put too heavy a burden on people by giving them both free will and temptation.


John Seymour Ivan's story of the Grand Inquisitor is to try to show that the Church, in its secular power, would again persecute Christ if he came back during an period such as the Inquisition. That the supposed instrument for salvation could be an instrument for persecution seems to convince Ivan that hope for suffering humanity cannot lie in the Church.


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