The Kingdom of God Is within You [NOOK Book]

Overview

TRANSLATED FROM THE RUSSIAN ...
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The Kingdom of God Is within You

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Overview

TRANSLATED FROM THE RUSSIAN OF COUNT LEO TOLSTOI
BY CONSTANCE GARNETT
New York, 1894



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

The book I have had the privilege of translating is, undoubtedly,
one of the most remarkable studies of the social and psychological
condition of the modern world which has appeared in Europe for
many years, and its influence is sure to be lasting and far
reaching. Tolstoi's genius is beyond dispute. The verdict of the
civilized world has pronounced him as perhaps the greatest
novelist of our generation. But the philosophical and religious
works of his later years have met with a somewhat indifferent
reception. They have been much talked about, simply because they
were his work, but, as Tolstoi himself complains, they have never
been seriously discussed. I hardly think that he will have to
repeat the complaint in regard to the present volume. One may
disagree with his views, but no one can seriously deny the
originality, boldness, and depth of the social conception which he
develops with such powerful logic. The novelist has shown in this
book the religious fervor and spiritual insight of the prophet;
yet one is pleased to recognize that the artist is not wholly lost
in the thinker. The subtle intuitive perception of the
psychological basis of the social position, the analysis of the
frame of mind of oppressors and oppressed, and of the intoxication
of Authority and Servility, as well as the purely descriptive
passages in the last chapter--these could only have come from the
author of "War and Peace."

The book will surely give all classes of readers much to think of,
and must call forth much criticism. It must be refuted by those
who disapprove of its teaching, if they do not want it to have
great influence.

One cannot of course anticipate that English people, slow as they
are to be influenced by ideas, and instinctively distrustful of
all that is logical, will take a leap in the dark and attempt to
put Tolstoi's theory of life into practice. But one may at least
be sure that his destructive criticism of the present social and
political RÉGIME will become a powerful force in the work of
disintegration and social reconstruction which is going on around
us. Many earnest thinkers who, like Tolstoi, are struggling to
find their way out of the contradictions of our social order will
hail him as their spiritual guide. The individuality of the
author is felt in every line of his work, and even the most
prejudiced cannot resist the fascination of his genuineness,
sincerity, and profound earnestness. Whatever comes from a heart
such as his, swelling with anger and pity at the sufferings of
humanity, cannot fail to reach the hearts of others. No reader
can put down the book without feeling himself better and more
truth-loving for having read it.

Many readers may be disappointed with the opening chapters of the
book. Tolstoi disdains all attempt to captivate the reader. He
begins by laying what he considers to be the logical foundation of
his doctrines, stringing together quotations from little-known
theological writers, and he keeps his own incisive logic for the
later part of the book.

One word as to the translation. Tolstoi's style in his religious
and philosophical works differs considerably from that of his
novels. He no longer cares about the form of his work, and his
style is often slipshod, involved, and diffuse. It has been my
aim to give a faithful reproduction of the original.

CONSTANCE GARNETT.
January,1894
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012192783
  • Publisher: SAP
  • Publication date: 2/13/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,158,115
  • File size: 305 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 54 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2005

    This book changed my life

    After reading this book, it became clear to me: Jesus doesn't want us killing one another, not for any reason, not for any purpose, not ever. I applied for discharge from the Army as a Conscientious Objector soon afterwards. Don't expect the book to be pure literary genius, but do expect to find your heart touched - or perhaps (as it was in my case), pierced.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not resisting evil with evil

    The overall theme of the book is that Christians should not resist evil by using evil (aka force). Thus, military service, judges, jails, taxes, etc. are all aspects of society that Christians should shun.

    This message contrasts with my going-in assumptions. I've assumed the New Testament's "turn the other cheek" message was intended for personal behavior and didn't interpret it as being totally applicable for society as a whole. Thus, I've always assumed that while I should be quick to forgive, that government has the responsibility for holding lawbreakers accountable. While I still think that way, the book did challenge me to think this over.

    Another interesting aspect to the book is that Tolstoy embraces the Sermon on the Mount as the crux of the New Testament. Though he embraces these particular teachings, he doesn't believe in heaven and hell; and that Christ's death on the cross was needed so that He could take our punishment in our stead. In short, he believed only parts of the Bible.

    One last item of interest... Tolstoy also made the case that Christianity is a natural evolution for humans. Humans started out only caring for themselves, their families, then their tribes and towns, and then their nation. Christianity is the natural next phase because it will help people to care for all mankind. The fact that Jesus may have actually walked the face of the earth, may have been the Son of God, and may have made eternity in heaven possible were, according to Tolstoy, not the real reasons for the advent of Christianity. I think Tolstoy missed the obvious.

    I'm glad I read this book. This book influenced Ghandi and I believe wise to study different view points. I believe those who read this book will find the experience a "rounding" one.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Profound and moving essay by a genius on justice

    I have read two of Tolstoy's other masterpieces in "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina." For all the brilliant prose in these two works of penultimate genius, to really understand the heart of the novelist writing about his society, these essays lend powerful insight. The essays begin as Tolstoy rides a train with soldiers sent to beat Russian peasants who have lodged a complaint against a rich landowner bent upon cutting down a forest, with which serfs had always enjoyed common rights, for the profit in the timber. After a judge's unjust verdict in favor of the landowner, after the serfs send packing the men who appeared to cut their timber, the landowner requests government troops to enforce the unjust verdict by beating the serfs to death with rods packed onboard the train. Tolstoy examines this great chain of injustice from the rich landowner's arrogance and greed, to the government judge's feeble acquiesence to power, to the soldiers' blind obedience to administer the famished serfs' inhumane punishment and asks why any of this must play out as it does. How often has this great chain of injustice perpetuated itself upon humanity? Does this chain not define and insitutionalize the greatest instances of inhumanity in the course of history? Tolstoy asks earnestly why each of the players in the administration of this injustice just doesn't try to make a true "moral effort." Why doesn't the rich landowner recognize his own arrogance and greed and duty to the serfs? Why doesn't the government intercede and stand up to the landowner's will to power? Why don't the soldiers refuse to administer mindlessly this injustice? Why must famished, diseased and half-dead peasants be beaten to death as they simply try to survive? Who wins in this oft repeated scenario? Not a dead soul. Tolstoy's argument is that we have the ethical wherewithal at every level to stand-up to such injustice and he makes the argument as a wealthy Russian landowner, former soldier and provincial adminsitrator with great influence upon the tsar. In other words he is fully qualified by virtue of experience to argue this case and he makes it with a profundity and simplicity which is inspiring. "There is one thing, and only one thing, in which it is granted to you to be free in life, all else being beyond your power: that is to recognize and profess the truth." Tolstoy's thesis is that the Power to do this exists within every person and that it is the divine responsibility of each of us to exercise this power for the good and happiness of humanity. Tolstoy sees a threefold relationship of man to truth: "Some truths have been so assimilated by them that they become the unconscious basis of action, others are just only on the point of being revealed and a third class, though not yet assimilated by him, have been revealed to him with sufficient clearness to force him to decide either to recognize them or refuse to recognize them." Tolstoy urges mankind simply to make a moral effort and he advises that the happiness open to mankind is available only if and when we do so. Why don't we make more of a moral effort? There is great wisdom in this work which I urge you, despite the daunting title, to read as it is wisdom from a century and a half ago, that no generation of humanity may need more than our own right now.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2009

    The Kingdom of God is Within You

    The book challenges the Christian to think about her/his participation in and support of a government whose policies are not always consistent with Christian values. I highly recommend the book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    Amazing grace

    Discover a great artist's personal view of what Christianity should be.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    Maplenight

    Tries to stop the blood coming from her wound before slashing dontlives throat back and running off.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    recommend

    This is a great book. A different look at Christanity.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    SIENNAPAW

    HELP IM LOCKED OUT OF MOST BOOKS!!!

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Wher are they!

    I will fight tooth and claw to rescue our kits! Burningstar

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Riverpaw

    You donrt have to like hom

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Kit

    "Get away from me." She started kicking

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Kit

    SHE Growls

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Lightningpaw to Moonscar

    "You cant tell them what to do!" She said.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Kit

    So....dont you go tp starclan Amerkit

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    DontLive

    Slits maplenights throat.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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