The Gospel in Brief

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Overview

The Gospel in Brief is Leo Tolstoy's integration of the four biblical Gospels into a single account of the life of Jesus. Inspired in large measure by Tolstoy's meticulous study of the original Greek versions of the Bible, The Gospel in Brief is a highly original fusion of biblical texts and Tolstoy's own influential religious views. Tolstoy explains that his goal is a solution to "the problem of life," not an answer to theological or historical questions. As a result, he sets aside such issues as Jesus' ...
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Gospels in Brief (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

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Overview

The Gospel in Brief is Leo Tolstoy's integration of the four biblical Gospels into a single account of the life of Jesus. Inspired in large measure by Tolstoy's meticulous study of the original Greek versions of the Bible, The Gospel in Brief is a highly original fusion of biblical texts and Tolstoy's own influential religious views. Tolstoy explains that his goal is a solution to "the problem of life," not an answer to theological or historical questions. As a result, he sets aside such issues as Jesus' genealogy and divinity, or whether Jesus in fact walked on water. Instead, he focuses on the words and teachings of Jesus, stripped of what Tolstoy regarded as the Church's distortions and focus on dogma and ritual. The result is a work that emphasizes the necessity of maintaining one's spiritual condition in a chaotic and indifferent world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803294325
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Series: Texts and Contexts Series
  • Pages: 215
  • Sales rank: 1,420,052
  • Lexile: 1020L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Isabel Hapgood (1850–1928), author of A Survey of Russian Literature, also translated works by Gogol, Turgenev, and Gorky. Her translation of this classic work has been edited and introduced by F. A. Flowers III, an appellate lawyer from Birmingham, Alabama.

Biography

Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province, where he spent most of his early years, together with his several brothers. In 1844 he entered the University of Kazan to read Oriental Languages and later Law, but left before completing a degree. He spent the following years in a round of drinking, gambling and womanizing, until weary of his idle existence he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851.

He took part in the Crimean war and after the defence of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his literary reputation. After leaving the army in 1856 Tolstoy spent some time mixing with the literati in St Petersburg before traveling abroad and then settling at Yasnaya Polyana, where he involved himself in the running of peasant schools and the emancipation of the serfs. His marriage to Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862 marked the beginning of a period of contentment centred around family life; they had thirteen children. Tolstoy managed his vast estates, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote both his great novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).

During the 1870s he underwent a spiritual crisis, the moral and religious ideas that had always dogged him coming to the fore. A Confession (1879–82) marked an outward change in his life and works; he became an extreme rationalist and moralist, and in a series of pamphlets written after 1880 he rejected church and state, indicted the demands of flesh, and denounced private property. His teachings earned him numerous followers in Russia and abroad, and also led finally to his excommunication by the Russian Holy Synod in 1901. In 1910 at the age of eighty-two he fled from home "leaving this worldly life in order to live out my last days in peace and solitude;" he died some days later at the station master's house at Astapovo.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Books LTD.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 9, 1828
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tula Province, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      November 20, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Astapovo, Russia

Table of Contents

Editor's Preface 7
Tolstoy's Introduction 15
The Gospel In Brief 35
The Son Of God The Spirit 36
God Is The Spirit In Man 45
God's Kingdom 59
May All Men Enter God's Kingdom 71
Serving The Spirit Gives True Life 88
Man Must Forsake The Life Of The Flesh 108
The Present Life is Food For The True Life 127
Life Is Not Temporal 144
Temptations Conceal The True Life 158
The Warfare With Temptation 176
The Farewell Discourse 190
Union With The Spirit 201
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