Synopses & Reviews
Banned in Russia, Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You
was deemed a threat to church and state. The culmination of a lifetime's thought, it espouses a commitment to Jesus's message of turning the other cheek. In a bold and original manner, Tolstoy shows his readers clearly why they must reject violence of any sortand#151;even that sanctioned by the state or the churchand#151;and urges them to look within themselves to find the answers to questions of morality.
In 1894, one of the first English translations of this book found its way into the hands of a young Gandhi. Inspired by its message of nonresistance to evil, the Mahatma declared it a source of "independent thinking, profound morality, and truthfulness." Much of this work's emotional and moral appeal lies in its emphasis on fair treatment of the poor and working class. Its view of Christianity, not as a mystic religion but as a workable philosophy originating from the words of a remarkable teacher, extends its appeal to secular and religious readers alike.
The soul-searching book that inspired Gandhi to embrace the concept of passive resistance, Tolstoy's 1894 polemic outlines a radical, well-reasoned revision of traditional Christian thinking. The revered novelist and political thinker denounces violent revolution, calling upon readers to rely upon their inner divinity for the strength to effect social change.
The soul-searching book that inspired Gandhi to embrace the concept of passive resistance, Tolstoy's 1894 polemic clearly outlines a radical, well-reasoned revision of traditional Christian thinking.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Dover Edition
I. The Doctrine of Non-resistance to Evil by Force Has Been Professed by a Minority of Men from the Very Foundation of Christianity
II. Criticisms of the Doctrine of Non-resistance to Evil by Force on the Part of Believers and of Unbelievers
III. Christianity Misunderstood by Believers
IV. Christianity Misunderstood by Men of Science
V. Contradiction Between Our Life and Our Christian Conscience
VI. Attitude of Men of the Present Day to War
VII. Significance of Compulsory Service
VIII. Doctrine of Non-resistance to Evil by Force Must Inevitably Be Accepted by Men of the Present Day
IX. The Acceptance of the Christian Conception of Life Will Emancipate Men from the Miseries of Our Pagan Life
X. Evil Cannot Be Suppressed by the Physical Force of the Government--The Moral Progress of Humanity Is Brought About Not Only by Individual Recognition of Truth, but Also Through the Establishment of a Public Opinion
XI. The Christian Conception of Life Has Already Arisen in Our Society, and Will Infallibly Put an End to the Present Organization of Our Life Based on Force--When That Will Be
XII. Conclusion--Repent Ye, for the Kingdom of Heaven Is at Hand