Dostoevsky's portrayal of the Catholic Church during the Inquisition is a plea for the power of pure faith, and a critique of the tyrannies of institutionalized religion.
This is an except from the Brothers Karamazov which stands alone as a statement of philiosophy and a warning about the surrender of freedom for the sake of comfort.
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For an in depth understanding of the temptations of Christ you can do no better than Anne Freemantle's introduction to 'the Grand Inquisitor.' In plucking this chapter from 'The Brothers ....', Freemantle goes straight to the heart of Christianity and the freedom offered to man by God. What an extraordinary and inciteful booklet.
I was perusing the shelves of Barnes & Noble this evening and carelessly picked up this book (or a poem in prose as Dostoevsky describes it). I was immediately and intensely moved by its poignancy of topic, depth of thought, unabashed critique of the Church, and scathingly, yet eerily logical, depiction of the depravity of human nature. I have never before written a review and only do so now because I believe that such an incredibly striking text should be read by all who have never before been rendered speechless (as I have not before now) by a book.
This is VERY hard to follow. Don't expect to get through this in one sitting. It takes at least 2 reads to understand the implications of what is being said, but if you can understand the meaning of it, then you are in for a Grand Enlightenment.