Dostoevsky’s Disciples: Religion and National Ideology in Russian Culture, 1881–1913


ACLS Fellowship Program


Russian and East European Studies


This project examines the initial reception of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s religious ideas in elite and popular spheres in late-imperial Russian society. During this period, key approaches to reading Dostoevsky were first formulated, including the idea that his work amounted to a central contribution to religious thought rather than being a purely literary endeavor. Once considered too mystical or conservative, his novels and very image came to reflect a radically inclusive Christian ethics. Likewise, widespread acceptance of him as a religious thinker has always been contingent upon a revisionist reception of his nationalist politics. By revisiting this early history of reading Dostoevsky, this project shows its continued relevance to more recent critical trends in Russia and the west.