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The Kingdom of God is Within You: Christianity not as a Mystic Religion but as a New Theory of Life [Kindle Edition]

Leo Tolstoy , Constance Garnett
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Classic philosophic and religious work. According to the 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." According to Wikipedia: "As a fiction writer, Tolstoy is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all novelists, particularly noted for his masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina. In their scope, breadth and realistic depiction of 19th-century Russian life, the two books stand at the peak of realist fiction. As a moral philosopher Tolstoy was notable for his ideas on nonviolent resistance through works such as The Kingdom of God is Within You, which in turn influenced such twentieth-century figures as Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr."

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Leo Tolstoy, or Count Lyev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (September 9 1828 to November 20 1910), was a Russian writer widely regarded as one of the greatest novelists. His masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina represent in their scope, breadth and vivid depiction of 19th-century Russian life and attitudes, the peak of realist fiction. Tolstoy's further talents as essayist, dramatist, and educational reformer made him the most influential member of the aristocratic Tolstoy family. His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Product Details

  • File Size: 380 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1449503462
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: B&R Samizdat Express (April 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0018HUYI2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #847,641 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mere Christianity January 22, 2013
The Kingdom of God is Within You is one of the most compelling and challenging pieces of conviction and courage that you will ever read. It is essential reading for anyone who considers himself a Christian... and also for anyone who doesn't.

Notably, Tolstoy's book was instrumental in inspiring the ethic of non-violent resistance to evil practiced by both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. In Gandhi's words: "Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God is Within You overwhelmed me. Before the independent thinking, profound morality and truthfulness of this book, all the books given me seemed to pale into insignificance."
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Page format anomaly December 10, 2012
By Jay E
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Both this copy and the Wilder publication are fraught with bizarre type set anomaly. Purchased the cheaper version first and it was space set between words like an editor's draft, first chapter lines off horizontal at slant. This one does not have that space between words problem but the margin is 7/64" at outer edge or just less than an 1/8 of an inch. No room to hold and read except at the bottom of the book. I must recommend read/print online as for my experience with this title 2 out of two down that is 0% and about $30 after S/h for both . Very dissed with sorry print formatting. Great author
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars to hard of a read July 11, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Its not what I been seeking, it to hard of a read. I am trying to open up a school, it not going to keep my student interest. thanks
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Imperfect Kingdom August 9, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Kingdom of God is Within You"--at least, the Timeless Classics Books version I bought--is a maddening edition of a book that's at once flawed and necessary, a critical look at how human institutions have interpreted (or misinterpreted) the Gospel message.

In it, Tolstoy focuses on what's perhaps Jesus' most often overlooked statement--the admonishment to offer no resistance to evil. It's an admirable task, to take a clear look at a statement that many pretend is blurry, to try and make simple a message that is complicated in spite of its clarity. And Tolstoy's passion and originality make for an unforgettable read, even as his sweeping generalizations make it easy to put down in frustration.

He claims, for instance, that there are only three ways to view life--the animal, the pagan, and the divine. In the former, one is only looking for fulfillment of one's own desires; most societies recognize this as potentially harmful, and set out laws so as to corral the human animal. But, as Tolstoy puts it, this still leads to allegiance to "the tribe, the family, the clan, the nation," and that ultimately leads to conflict. The answer, as he sees it, is for human society to keep evolving towards the divine ideal set down in the Gospels, wherein one treats everyone well, regardless of (and even in spite of) their past behavior.

In looking at the middle level--that of human society--Tolstoy latches on to something Chairman Mao would later express far more cynically: political power ultimately rests on force. Laws that aren't enforced are basically just suggestions, so no matter how noble-minded the government, or how good its intentions, it ultimately must either use or threaten violence--the very word "enforcement" acknowledges this.
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More About the Author

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) wrote two of the great novels of the nineteenth century, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

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