Item description for Leo Tolstoy: Spiritual Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) by Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy & Charles E. Moore...
Overview 'Love alone is the only reasonable activity or pursuit of humankind . . . For love not only annihilates our fear of meaninglessness but empowers us to seek the happiness of others. And this indeed is our greatest happiness' Leo Tolstoy Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was the author of such classic Russian novels as War and Peace and Anna Karenina. In mid-life, however, he underwent a deep moral and spiritual crisis that led him back to the gospels in an effort to conform his life to the spirit of Christ. This volume focuses on his spiritual writings autobiographical reflections on his journey of faith, commentaries on the gospels, and essays on the essence of Christianity.
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Studio: Orbis Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.2" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.61" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Sep 27, 2006
Publisher Orbis Books
Series Modern Spiritual Masters
ISBN 1570756732 ISBN13 9781570756733
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More About Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy & Charles E. Moore
Lev Nikolaevich (Leo) Tolstoy (1828–1910). Russian novelist, reformer, and moral thinker
Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana, the Tolstoy family estate a hundred miles south of Moscow, on August 28. He died on November 20 at a nearby railroad station, having fled in the night from an increasingly contentious marriage and a set of familial relationships that had been hardened in large part by Tolstoy's attempts to apply his radical moral beliefs to his own life. In the intervening eighty-two years Tolstoy became perhaps the most prominent novelist in an age and place of great authors as well as a vociferous critic of science and modernization.
Tolstoy's international fame rests primarily on two novels, War and Peace (1865–1869) and Anna Karenina (1875–1877). His fictional works also include short masterpieces such as "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" (1886), "The Kreutzer Sonata" (1889), and "Master and Man" (1895). In addition he wrote autobiographical accounts of his childhood (Childhood, Boyhood, Youth[1852–1857]) and his experiences as a soldier in the Crimean War (Sevastopol Sketches ). With regard to issues of science, technology, and ethics Tolstoy's most relevant writings include a variety of short, passionate non-fiction works, particularly "What I Believe" (1884), "What Then Must We Do?" (1887), "On the Significance of Science and Art" (1887), "What Is Art?" (1898), and "I Cannot Be Silent" (1908), all of which address a confluence of moral and intellectual errors he perceived in modern life and thought at the turn of the twentieth century.
Like his contemporary Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881), whom he never met, Tolstoy was broadly concerned with the spiritual future of the human race. He attempted to confront the gradual movement away from traditional values with an almost Aristotelian emphasis on the permanent relationships of things, promoting the universality of natural and religious values of love and labor to which he believed the human heart responds. Although the West now knows him as the writer of large and perhaps infrequently read novels, his influence on writers and political dissidents such as Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948) and Alexander Solzhenitsyn (b. 1918) has been enormous, and his thought provides resources for ethical assessments of science and technology that have not yet been explored fully.
Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born in 1828 and died in 1910.
Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Leo Tolstoy: Spiritual Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters)?
A relentless hunger for meaning Jan 27, 2008
I discovered Tolstoy when I was twelve years old, and I've been reading and rereading him ever since (over forty years now; where did all that time go!?) My guess is that Tolstoy is one of the major influences in my life. I only began to appreciate how deeply he'd influenced me when I discovered Gandhi in my twenties, and realized that I agreed with most of what the Mahatma said because I'd already been convinced by Tolstoy.
But I've always been puzzled by Tolstoy's religious beliefs, never feeling that I had a good grasp of them but sensing that until I did, I could never really appreciate Tolstoy's message. Charles Moore's excellent compilation has helped me begin to make sense of what Tolstoy believed. Reading his anthology, I'm persuaded that sometimes Tolstoy's reflections on religion simply don't make sense (his "Thoughts on God" strike me as simply confused), sometimes they suggest a liberal moralism dressed up as religion, and sometimes they're preachy and judgmental. But at his best, Tolstoy's vision of God as love, prayer as the method by which we get in touch with divine love, and the exercise of love as the heart of Jesus' message, is superb. It's what inspired Gandhi in his nonviolence, and it's what makes Tolstoy still worth reading. (One crucial question, however, is how to sustain loyalty to Jesus' moral message while denying, as Tolstoy did, Jesus' divinity.)
Moore's anthology also focuses (in its first section) on Tolstoy's lifelong search for meaning and truth (Tolstoy's dying words were an affirmation of his love for truth). Tolstoy was one of those persons with a deep and abiding hunger for deep meaning in life, and this longing motivated much in his life and writings, sometimes driving him to excess. In our day and age, existential hunger seems quaint. Perhaps we fear to acknowledge our own hunger because we sense, howsoever vaguely, that doing so will bring us pain. But if Tolstoy's correct, we only really learn to love when we embrace the hunger.
All in all, much good nourishment in this collection, prefaced by a very worthy introduction written by editor Moore. Highly recommended.
Excellent Summary of Tolstoy Nov 5, 2007
This book was an excellent summary of Tolstoy's thinking, the editor has taken parts from several of Tolstoy's writings and hashed them together in a logical pattern. It stays rather light compared to the experience of reading a single Tolstoy doctrine such as "The Kingdom of God is Within You". Excellent introduction. I'm giving this to a friend now to get her familiar.