A Confession and Other Religious Writings (Classics) Paperback – 27 Aug 1987
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About the Author
Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born in 1828 and educated privately. He studied Oriental languages and Law at the University of Kazan, then led a life of pleasure until he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851. He served during the Crimean War and after the defence of Sebastopol wrote The Sebastopol Sketches, which established his reputation. He continued to write while developing educational projects, writing War and Peace and Anna Karenina between 1865 and 1876. A Confession marked an outward change in his life and works: he became an extreme rationalist and moralist, and his theories led to his excommunication from the Russian Holy Synod in 1901. He died in 1910.
Jane Kentish is a lecturer in Byzantine and early Russian History and Art at the University of Sussex.
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Top Customer Reviews
And yet it is hard to see any alternative the truth he offers. Arguably the greatest prose-writer in history, writes about the most fundamental truth of existence: To find and nurture love within ourselves. There is nothing to add.
It is pretty much impossible to encounter a rational/objective exposition of life today, and things seem to be getting worse. The logic of the world seems to be getting more convoluted and ridiculous and that is why this book reads like a breath of fresh air, like a little dosage of sanity to give you hope.
It's like Nietszche, Ghandi, Joseph Heller and the Pope all mixed into one book. Genius.
Tolstoy makes certain valuable observations about the Christian church but falls to victim to the glasshouse syndrome in regard to other major religions(he accuses others of things which he is guilty of himself - a common failure of logic). Strangely, he displays a real shortfall in his understanding of Judaism and Islam in particular - the later essays included in this book read a little bit like propoganda, in surprising contrast to the main article(a confession) - which is very objective.
Ultimately there is no one book or perspective which will give an adequate answer to the question of existence but these works by Tolstoy are genuine contributions. Take these contributions and combine them with a wider investigation of Western philosophy, Eastern philosophy and a better understanding of the worlds major religions, and you will be much wiser.
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