Svatopluk Karásek is an evangelical pastor and signatory of Charter 77. He studied at the Comenius Evangelical Theological Faculty from 1964–1968. He then worked for three years as a pastor until 1971, when the state withdrew its permission to allow him to continue in his spiritual service. From 1972–1976 he worked as the caretaker at Houska Castle. In 1976 he was arrested and sentenced to eight months in prison in a trial along with the underground music group The Plastic People of the Universe. As a signatory of Charter 77, Karásek could not return to his original profession and worked mostly as a window cleaner. The turning point in his life came in 1980 when he was forced into exile. He settled in Switzerland, where he served again as a pastor from 1981. Since 1997 he has lived permanently in the Czech Republic, working as a clergyman. He was a member of parliament from 2002–2006 and the Government Commissioner for Human Rights from 2004–2006.
Karásek was also involved in musical and literary activities. His musical career began in the 1970s. His lyrics were published in samizdat volumes as well as in exile. Since 1989, his lyrics have been published officially. His literary works include the sermons Boží trouba (2000) and Tři kázání o Jonášovi (2007). Karásek’s musical and other works were influenced by his professional focus – his attempts to update the gospel and make the Biblical messages more relevant to today’s lifestyles. Karásek is connected to the underground through his provocative and sarcastic style, as well as naturalistic clarity.
- Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
Author(s) of this page
- Nečasová, Denisa
ÚČL AV ČR. 2008. "Slovník české literatury po roce 1945: Svatopluk Karásek." Last modified October 31. http://www.slovnikceskeliteratury.cz/showContent.jsp?docId=1252&hl=Kar%C3%A1sek+.