Dostoevsky’s Failed Fool-in-Christ
by Steven Faulkner
One afternoon last May I invited a good friend of mine to come over and discuss something that had been needling me about the writings of Dostoevsky. I had been reading Dostoevsky and wrestling with the problem of portraying the good man, the saintly man—not just the naive simpleton who sometimes passes for an innocent man. I found the questions presented intriguing and compelling, not only artistically and intellectually, but spiritually. What is it to be innocent? In the Russian religious tradition, there is what is called a fool-in-Christ, a person who appears as a fool to the world, who chooses to live and act so, but on a higher plane reflects the wisdom of God. This is not wisdom by rational argument, . . .