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The Kingdom of God is Within You [Paperback]

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Item Number 383229  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.95" Width: 5.04" Height: 1.02"
Weight:   0.97 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2005
Publisher   Cosimo Classics
ISBN  1596056630  
EAN  9781596056633  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The essence of the social conception of life consists in the transference of the meaning of our personal lives into the life of the aggregate of personalities,-the tribe, the family, the race, the state. This transference has taken place easily and naturally in its first forms, in the transference of meaning of life from the personality to the tribe, the family. But the transference to the race or nation is more difficult and demands a special education for it... -from The Kingdom of God Is Within You

He is considered one of the greatest novelists in any language in all of human history, but Leo Tolstoy was also an influential social reformer and peace advocate. Subtitled "Christianity Not as a Mystical Teaching but as a New Concept of Life," this powerful exploration of the preachings of Jesus from a pacifistic perspective.

First published in 1893, it introduced such important 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King to the concept of nonviolent resistance. This edition is vital reading for anyone wishing to understand the history of protest around the world or gain a deeper appreciation of pacifistic Christianity.

Buy The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Wiener Leo Tolstoy from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781596056633 & 1596056630

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
An Essential Text for All Those Interested in Peace Studies  Sep 12, 2008
I'm not a theist myself, but this is the book that I would want all theists to read because I sympathize with Tolstoy's views (insofar as I am quite fond of pacifism). Tolstoy, as I understand, is thought of as something of a maverick amongst the Christian community because of his 'extreme' interpretation of the New Testament. What this amounts to is: (a) Political anarchism - he believes in a global community under God that does not require human governmental infrastructure. (b) Ethical pacifism - which he believes follows from a strict reading of the NT (his main exegetical support are instructions such as "do not resist evil"). So why have people not interpreted the NT in the way Tolstoy does? He claims that it is due to the fact that people prefer to justify the life they already lead rather than follow the Biblical precepts earnestly. Moreover, he believes that government and clergy regard this pacifist interpretation as being manifestly inconvenient and consequently recruit every effort in suppressing it. There are many other important aspects to this fascinating book, but the points mentioned above are the main themes. As another other reviewers, this book helped shape Gandhi's notion of non-violence, so its historical impact is considerable. Anyone interested in Gandhi should also take a look at this book.
A Classic of Christian Pacifism  Sep 2, 2008
Tolstoy is of course a classic writer, and this text would be worthwhile reading merely because of its author. It offers more than just a prestigious name, however, this book offers Tolstoy's sustained argument that Christianity must be nonviolent, and that not only must Christians not wage war they must not murder or kill at all. While I am not a pacifist, and have not been persuaded wholly by the pacifist tradition, I have to commend Tolstoy's work as a very thorough and intricate attempt to argue for the case of Christian pacifism. He illustrates how the acceptance of violence in society is used to protect the presence of injustice and inequality, and that justifications are cleverly manufactured to convince otherwise innocent (but deceived) people that Christianity is okay with the "Just War" tradition. Tolstoy, of course, believes that Christianity is incompatible with violence, the use of force, and hence the support of the State. It is a radical philosophy if religion, and while I prefer a more "realist" tradition than Tolstoy's (he seems to be under the impression also that moral progress is inexorable, given the revealed truth of Christianity, in his own mind), his work should be regarded as a classic argument for Christian Pacifism and against any Christian use of violence.
If Only  Jul 16, 2008
A very good book, if only to see how Tolstoy handles the subject.

His writing is as fine as ever, and in demolishing the edifice of church/state, he is in fine form.

However, when it comes time to form his own, edifice, the train goes completly off the rails. It is a majestic horror. The blindness, is simply astounding. But well written.

Mr. Tolstoy makes the same pathetic appeal that every originator of a lame philosophy does..."if only people would do thus and such". But they don't, do they!!

To give him credit, he does raise the issue...but never answers it! Because no answer is possible.

This book is an informative glimpse into the window of the asylum door, whilst the madman scribbles on the wall. He writes a philosophy that must be lived up to, even to the death of yourself, your family, everyone you know. It is insane.

A great writer, yes. But for any philosophy to work, it must be based on the real world. It must come down to man, not beckon from the heights.

My conclusion upon reading this book, was only wishing Tolstoy was alive today, so he could correct all the many obvious errors, and make a stronger, more modern, argument for his cause. I doubt he would even try, however.
Insightful  Mar 28, 2008
I recommend reading Tolstoy's "What I Believe" before you read this work.
Both books establish, better than any other book I've read, the corruption of the apparent task of all organized religion by its assimiluation into civil government.

This book, written seven years after "What I Believe" is Tolstoy's appologic for his first work. I believe the five reasons Tolstoy listed, which showed how his thoughts were rejected, proved to me the weakness of Tolstoy's argument. His argument in What I Believe was based on scripture. He was saying my interpretation of scripture is better than the churchs' interpretation (and application).

It is because there is no resolution to finite mankind attempting to define and interpret an infinite "god" is why we have more than 2,800 religious organizations. It is circuitous logic to think a finite book can be elevated to prove the existence of an infinite god. It is also why the leaders of organized religion, in their pride, elevate their beliefs about an infinite god to be a fact of life. By the corruption of the religions' supposed purpose with civil government, which enables them to use force to impose their will on others, the peoples of the world live in strife.

I have a blog at "[...]" under the name lawrenceindestin where my essay attempts to develop this topic further.
The Kingdom of God is Within You  Mar 9, 2008
Tolstoy lived in an era when words were used to show pictures, and being succint was unheard of. Though I have enjoyed other of Tolstoy's writings, this one is an extremely laborious read! I am not sure where Ghandi got his inspiration from it. Good luck!

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