Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2019.

Degree Name

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)


Eduardo Fernández, SJ


A laudable piece of writing often generates significant movements within the reader, sometimes even altering one’s approach to reality. This thesis is a study of the Russian novel Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. My overall conclusion is that the classic offers a first-hand vision of God’s presence in our everyday reality. Through the work Dostoevsky proposes a God who is present to the poor and acts in a special way through them. Even in the most miserable of contexts, God is seen as present and active in the lives of the suffering and the outcast. From this analysis I attempt to demonstrate how such quality literature, such as that exemplified in Crime and Punishment, can impact the reader in such a profound way that she or he is moved to alter their approach to God and neighbor. I create, finally, a dialogue between the novel and a concrete reality in a poor area of northern Argentina. The concepts of Mother Earth, Icon, and Silence are engaged to show that these common aspects of mestizo life in northern Argentina can inspire contemporary people to find God in the ordinary. Some Latin American liberation theologians, similarly, such as Gustavo Gutierrez, provide key insights into the role of the poor in salvation history and the invitation to participate in this redeeming process. This thesis can therefore be characterized as an adaptation of the theological method “See-Judge-Act”, my own rendition here ultimately taking shape as Read-Reflect-Apply.

Included in

Religion Commons