Dostoyevsky’s Critique of the West
The Quest for the Earthly Paradise
Not much attention has been given to Dostoyevsky's concern with the crisis of the modern West, although allusions to almost every aspect of Western civilization—including the political, economic, and social dimensions—are present in his literary works and abound in his secondary writings.
This book points the way to a better understanding of the apparent contradiction between Dostoyevsky's concern with the highest reaches of human spirituality and at the same time with the most detailed developments in domestic and international politics. Ward argues that the apparent polarization of "religious" thought and "political" analysis of the West are held together for Dostoyevsky in his search for the best human order. He demonstrates not only that Dostoyevsky's observations about the West constitute a coherent critique intimately related to the deepest aspects of his though, but also that these can be rendered more systematic and explicit.
What results is an incisve account of both the religious and the political thought of Dostoyevsky, which helps clarify what Dostoyevsky, which helps clarify what Dostoyevsky can teach us about the modern situation of the Western world and about the problem of human order in general, for, as the author states, "it was Dostoyevsky's great virtue as a thinker always to see the pressing issues of his particular time and place in the light of the 'everlasting problems. '"