Tolstoy's Quest for God

Tolstoy's Quest for God

Author: Daniel Rancour-Laferriere

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781351471756

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 206

View: 778

The religious dimension of Tolstoy's life is usually associated with his later years following his renunciation of art. In this volume, Daniel Rancour-Laferriere demonstrates instead that Tolstoy was preoccupied with a quest for God throughout all of his adult life. Although renowned as the author of War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Death of Ivan Ilych, and other literary works, and for his activism on behalf of the poor and the downtrodden of Russia, Tolstoy himself was concerned primarily with achieving personal union with God.Tolstoy suffered from periodic bouts of depression which brought his creative life to a standstill, and which intensified his need to find comfort in the embrace of a personal God. At times he was in such psychic pain he wanted to die. Yet Tolstoy felt that he deserved to suffer, and he learned to welcome suffering in masochistic fashion. Rancour-Laferriere locates the psychological underpinnings of Tolstoy's suffering in a bipolar illness that led him actively to seek suffering and self-humiliation in the Russian tradition of holy foolishness. With voluntary suffering, and Jesus Christ as his model, Tolstoy advocated nonresistance to evil, and in his daily life he strove never to return evil actions or words with physical or verbal resistance. On the other hand, being bipolar, Tolstoy in some situations would drift in a manic direction, indulging in delusions of grandeur. Indeed, the aging Tolstoy occasionally went so far as to equate himself with God, as can be seen from his diaries and personal correspondence.The pantheistic world view which Tolstoy achieved at the end of his life meant that God was within himself and within all people and all things in the entire universe. By this time Tolstoy was also utilizing images of a mother to represent his God. With this essentially maternal God so conveniently available, there was nowhere Tolstoy could be without Her. For, in the end, Tolstoy's quest for God was a

Tolstoy's Quest for God
Language: en
Pages: 206
Authors: Daniel Rancour-Laferriere
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-07-28 - Publisher: Routledge

The religious dimension of Tolstoy's life is usually associated with his later years following his renunciation of art. In this volume, Daniel Rancour-Laferriere demonstrates instead that Tolstoy was preoccupied with a quest for God throughout all of his adult life. Although renowned as the author of War and Peace, Anna
Two Shining Souls
Language: en
Pages: 206
Authors: James Cracraft
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2012-06-15 - Publisher: Lexington Books

In Two Shining Souls, Cracraft explores the decades-long encounter of Jane Addams (1860-1935), the famous American social reformer and peace activist, with Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), the acclaimed Russian writer and sage. This hitherto untold story highlights the crisis in global pacifism precipitated by World War I. Never before had the
Tolstoy's Political Thought
Language: en
Pages: 268
Authors: Alexandre Christoyannopoulos
Categories: Social Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-09-19 - Publisher: Routledge

Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), besides writing famous novels such as War and Peace, also wrote on political issues, especially later in his life, putting forward a political philosophy which might be termed 'Christian anarchism'. This book provides a comprehensive overview of Tolstoy’s political thought. It outlines in a systematic way Tolstoy’s
Tolstoy's Pacifism
Language: en
Pages: 233
Authors: Colm McKeogh
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2009 - Publisher: Cambria Press

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was the most influential, challenging, and provocative pacifist of his generation. The most famous person alive at the dawn of the twentieth century, his international stature came not only from his great novels but from his rejection of violence and the state. Tolstoy was a strict pacifist
Leo Tolstoy
Language: en
Pages: 504
Authors: Richard F. Gustafson
Categories: Biography & Autobiography
Type: BOOK - Published: 2014-07-14 - Publisher: Princeton University Press

Much of what was central to Tolstoy seems embarrassing to Western and Soviet critics, points out Richard Gustafson in his absorbing argument for the predominance of Tolstoy's religious viewpoint in all his writings. Received opinion says that there are two Tolstoys, the pre-conversion artist and the post-conversion religious thinker and