A Confession and Other Religious Writings

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9781420935103: A Confession and Other Religious Writings
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As a result of his controversial works criticizing the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church, Tolstoy was excommunicated in 1901, dismissing the event lightly as he continued his search for a practical religion. "A Confession and Other Religious Works" is the product of years of introspection, resulting in a drastic reorientation of Tolstoy's beliefs and values. He felt undeserving of the wealth and fame he had accumulated, while millions around him were illiterate and afflicted, and therefore sought an acceptable faith wherein he could find the answers to life's most profound questions. In this autobiographical work of exceptional emotional honesty, he records his various attempts to find those answers in areas of science, philosophy, eastern wisdom, and the opinions of his fellow novelists. As a result of this process, Tolstoy recognizes in ordinary people a deep religious conviction, in which he may find the true answers to questions without which life, to him, is impossible. This collection includes Tolstoy's "Confession" as well as the following three other religious essays: "What is religion? and What is its Essence?", "Religion and Morality", and "The Law of Violence and The Law of Love."

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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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9780140444735: A Confession and Other Religious Writings (Classics)

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ISBN 10:  0140444734 ISBN 13:  9780140444735
Publisher: Penguin Classics, 1987
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