This excerpt from Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov contains what might be Dostoevsky’s own response to the credo of his Grand Inquisitor. Here Dostoevsky’s character, Father Zossima, asserts that “everyone is responsible for all.” But how, as Zossima’s interlocutors mockingly ask, can this be so? How can I be responsible for you, let alone for all?
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The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, trans. R. Pevear, L. Volokhonsky (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002).
Who should we give to and why?How has my family or background shaped who I am?What makes a community strong? What makes it weak?What is my responsibility to the people I lead?How do we define love? How do we show love?How does a person learn compassion?