The German-speaking Swiss Eduard Thurneysen was born in Walenstadt on July 10, 1888 and died in Basel on August 21, 1974. He was a pastor of the Evangelical Church, professor of theology in Basel (1941-1959) and visiting professor in Berlin and Hamburg.
During the period 1913-1920, Tourneisen was pastor in Leutwil and studied the work of Dostoyevsky. He encouraged his friend and colleague Karl Barth (1886-1968) – who lived in the community of Safenwil from 1913 to 1921 – to also read Dostoyevsky's work; on August 18, 1915, Barth wrote to him: "I spent all yesterday reading Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. I would like to know those Russians fully". Bart informs us that he and Tourneisen "were intensively reading Dostoyevsky (and in this study Tourneisen was my guide)".
At that time Tourneysen also compiled his book on Dostoyevsky. On April 21, 1921, urged by Bart, he gave a series of speeches
given to Dostoyevsky in the student circle of the city of Aarau; the edited text of the lectures was published as a book in 1921 in Munich (published by Chr. Kaiser