What I Believe

Overview

Originally published in 1885, What I Believe is part of series of books by novelist Leo Tolstoy that outline his personal interpretation of Christian theology. After a midlife crisis at age 50, he began to believe in the moral teachings of Christianity, while rejecting mysticism and organized religion. He believed that pacifism and poverty were the paths to enlightenment. His precepts of nonviolence even influenced Mohandas Gandhi.

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What I Believe

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Overview

Originally published in 1885, What I Believe is part of series of books by novelist Leo Tolstoy that outline his personal interpretation of Christian theology. After a midlife crisis at age 50, he began to believe in the moral teachings of Christianity, while rejecting mysticism and organized religion. He believed that pacifism and poverty were the paths to enlightenment. His precepts of nonviolence even influenced Mohandas Gandhi.

Students of religion, political science, and literature alike will gain new understanding from the ideas presented in this book. Students of literature will get to understand more deeply one of the greatest novelist in history, while those interested in religion and politics can see how Tolstoy's philosophy came to influence the world at large.

Russian writer COUNT LEV ("LEO") NIKOLAYEVICH TOLSTOY (1828-1910) is best known for his novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605208114
  • Publisher: Cosimo
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.69 (d)

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find his happiness in obeying it. It may be said that it is foolish; that, as unbelievers pretend, Jesus was a visionary, an idealist, whose impracticable rules were only followed because of the stupidity of his / disciples. But it is impossible not to admit that Jesus did say very clearly and definitely that which he intended to say: namely, that men should not resist evil; and that therefore he who accepts his' teaching cannot resist. Nevertheless, neither believers, nor unbelievers, understand these words of Jesus in this clear and simple sense. / CHAPTER II THE CENTRAL DOCTRINE When I understood that the words, " Resist not Evil," mean Resist not Evil, all my previous ideas of Christ's meaning were suddenly changed; and I was terrified, not so much at my former ignorance of his teaching as at the strange misinterpretation which had been mine. I knew, we all know, that the essence of Christianity is love. To say, "Turn the other cheek to the smiter, Love your enemies," is to express the vital principle of Christianity. I had known this from childhood; but why had I not understood these simple words simplywithout seeking in them an allegorical sense ? " Resist not evil," means "Resist not evil at any time"; that is to say, " Never employ force, never do what is con- trary to--love; antl"lfinen still' offend you, put up with the offence; employ no force against force." It would be impossible to speak more clearly and simply than this. How, then, could I, believing as I believed, or at least endeavoured to believe, that he who thus spoke is God — how could I have ever said that to carry this out is above my strength, is impossible? The mastersayjL t.n..mi . .'.'fj-n andcut wood,", and I answerTrrTcaiuiofr do it of my. unaided strength." Saying this I meaa- oe-afLij£ot...
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