The Kingdom of God Is within You

The Kingdom of God Is within You

3.7 46
by Leo Tolstoy, Constance Garnett
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1557429286

ISBN-13: 9781557429285

Pub. Date: 06/15/2006

Publisher: Wildside Press

The essence of the social conception of life consists in the transference of the meaning of our personal lives into the life of the aggregate of personalities,-the tribe, the family, the race, the state. This transference has taken place easily and naturally in its first forms, in the transference of meaning of life from the personality to the tribe, the family. But

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The essence of the social conception of life consists in the transference of the meaning of our personal lives into the life of the aggregate of personalities,-the tribe, the family, the race, the state. This transference has taken place easily and naturally in its first forms, in the transference of meaning of life from the personality to the tribe, the family. But the transference to the race or nation is more difficult and demands a special education for it...
-from The Kingdom of God Is Within You

He is considered one of the greatest novelists in any language in all of human history, but Leo Tolstoy was also an influential social reformer and peace advocate. Subtitled "Christianity Not as a Mystical Teaching but as a New Concept of Life," this powerful exploration of the preachings of Jesus from a pacifistic perspective. First published in 1893, it introduced such important 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King to the concept of nonviolent resistance.

This edition is vital reading for anyone wishing to understand the history of protest around the world or gain a deeper appreciation of pacifistic Christianity.

Russian writer COUNT LEV ("LEO") NIKOLAYEVICH TOLSTOY (1828-1910) is best known for his novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). Translation by Harvard professor of Slavic languages, Leo Weiner (1862-1939).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781557429285
Publisher:
Wildside Press
Publication date:
06/15/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
745,659
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)

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The Kingdom of God Is Within You: Christianity Not as a Mystic Religion but as a New Theory of Life (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
BitsBacon More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
WordsworthGreenwich More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Discover a great artist's personal view of what Christianity should be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. A different look at Christanity.
Anonymous 30 days ago
We only need a relationship with Jesus and we will not need anything else for the rest of our lives.
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