The sister Karamazov Dorothy Day's encounter with Dostoevsky's novel

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Theological Studies


Department of Religious Studies


Advisor: Kelly S. Johnson


This thesis explores the relationship between art and theology, arguing that literature plays a central role in the discipline. John Paul II gives voice to the importance of the arts in the life of the Church, and the influence of Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel on Dorothy Day pays witness to the pope's claim. Nicholas Boyle's approach to literature as the site" of theology is used to examine the imagery and discourse in The Brothers Karamazov as reflective of the Gospel story. Stanley Hauerwas' approach to narrative theology is then applied to contextualize the novel in Dorothy's life. Not only do encounters with Karamazov characters help guide her path to conversion, but Dostoevsky's Incarnational vision of the Church takes shape in Dorothy's daily practices and the formation of the Catholic Worker community. This exploration concludes with a look into the life and work of Fritz Eichenberg, who illustrated Dostoevsky's novels as well as the Catholic Worker newspaper. Such a portrait enriches one's understanding of Dostoevsky's influence on Day and reaffirms John Paul's claim that art is essential to the renewal of the Church."


Day, Dorothy, 1897-1980, Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 1821-1881. Bratʹ︠i︡a Karamazovy, Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 1821-1881 Influence, Eichenberg, Fritz, 1901-1990, Religion and literature

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2009, author