So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Kingdom of God is Within You : Christianity Not as a Mystic Religion But as a New Theory of Life

The Kingdom of God is Within You : Christianity Not as a Mystic Religion But as a New Theory of Life by Leo Tolstoy
This is Tolstoy's major work on Christian nonviolence. He puts forth the principle on non-violent resistance to evil and bases it on Christian principles. It took me a long time to read this book because, being written in 1894, the significance of many of the references that Tolstoy makes to 19th century European politics and society are not easily grasped by the modern 21st century reader. Yet if you want to understand the history and theory of nonviolent resistance, I feel this is an important book to read and understand. Not only because of Tolstoy's thinking, but because he outlines the work of previous writers and activists that contributed to his thinking. Tolstoy raises the stakes on what it means to be Christian. I am sure that most of the people who profess Christianity today would turn away from Tolstoy's teachings and go on supporting their country's wars and their own personal wealth that comes from these wars. He starts small with just asking his readers to recognize the truth of what he says, and to speak the truth instead of living the lies. I believe I will read this book again someday as the long time it took to read has diluted its impact on me. Having sampled the wine and found it good, I hope someday to be able to drink it to the dregs.

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