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Lifestyle Podcast Show Notes


The Grand Inquisitor

"The Grand Inquisitor" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a chapter from the book The Brothers Karamazov

Fyodor Dostoyevsky is one of the greatest writers in history. His masterpiece, The Brothers Karamazov, is a philosophical novel set in 19th century Russia that covers themes of morality, free will, and God. In this episode, we discuss one of the chapters of this book titled “The Grand Inquisitor.” 

The Grand Inquisitor Dostoyevsky

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This chapter is a poem that one of the characters Ivan recites for his brother Alexei. In the poem, Jesus Christ returns to Earth during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Amidst the burning bodies, Christ begins performing miracles. The crowd recognizes him and begins worshipping him, but the Grand Inquisitor sees him and orders his guards to take Christ to a dungeon. The rest of the chapter is a one way dialogue between the Grand Inquisitor and Christ. 

During the dialogue, the Grand Inquisitor chastizes Christ for denying the three temptations of Satan, and for giving his followers free will. His argument is that, because Christ gave his followers free will, the church now has to show miracle, mystery, and authority to enforce belief in him. The Grand Inquisitor Dostoyevsky

What we get from this dialogue is an understanding that freedom is not easy. It requires responsibility, action, and the ability to think. This is why human beings have willingly surrendered their freedom throughout history. Many find it far more comfortable to live with an authoritarian dictator running your life for you. 

It also highlights the temptations we face in our own lives to submit to dictatorial rule, whether that be from governments or by submitting to our own hedonistic desires. 

I highly suggest that you at least read The Grand Inquisitor, if not The Brothers Karamazov as a follow on to this episode. 

If you enjoyed this episode, you’ll love: 

Pat McNamara: Earning a Degree in Badassery

Nick Koumalatsos: Excommunicated Warrior to Renaissance Man

Robert Greene: Power, War, and Human Nature

Make America Grateful Again with Michael Reagan

Or you can listen to all of our recent episodes at: 

The Warrior Soul Podcast

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Chris Albert

Chris Albert is the host of the Warrior Soul Podcast and Founder of Warrior Soul. Chris is also a world wide trainer and nutrition coach and is a contributing author at Testosterone Nation and Muscle and Strength.

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