The Grand Inquisitor Themes

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The fundamental tension in "The Grand Inquisitor" is between God, in the form of Jesus, and religion, in the form of the Roman Catholic Church. According to the Grand Inquisitor, the two cannot coexist in the modern world; one must give way because they require different things from their followers. Jesus refused to make things easy for his followers. He could have given them bread when they were hungry in the desert and satisfied in one gesture their need for material comfort and their need to see miracles. But he refused, demanding instead that his followers believe on the strength of their faith alone, without any proof. God will not force people to believe in him, or to follow him. Each person must be free to choose her own path. This road to salvation, says the Grand Inquisitor, is appropriate only for the very strong. Ordinary...

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This section contains 985 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Grand Inquisitor from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.