Kaleidoscope: F.M. Dostoevsky and the Early Dialectical Theology
Introducing a new hermeneutics, this book explores the correlation between the personal faith of F.M. Dostoevsky (1821-1881) and the religious quality of his texts. In offering the first comprehensive analysis of his ego documents, it demonstrates how faith has methodologically to be defined by the inaccessibility of the 'living person'. This thesis, which draws on the work of M.M. Bakhtin, is further developed by critically examining the reception of Dostoevsky by the two main representatives of early dialectical theology, Karl Barth and Eduard Thurneysen. In the early 1920s, they claimed Dostoevsky as a chief witness to their radical theology of the fully transcendent God. While previously unpublished archive materials demonstrate the theological problems of their static conceptual interpretation, the 'kaleidoscopic' hermeneutics is founded on the awareness that a text offers only a fixed image, whereas living faith is in permanent motion.