Mike Prueter | Ecoponex
While seriously rethinking the chronology and dynamic of Tolstoy's religious development, the author explains the great writer's deep indebtedness to the philosophy of religion of his time and its narratives. Review quote With this authoritative and revealing study of Tolstoy's quest for faith, based on his every word and placed in its appropriate Russian and Western philosophical context, Inessa Medzhibovskaya emerges as the leading Tolstoy scholar of her generation in Russia and the West.
This marvelous book reconnects Tolstoy with his culture by following, step by step and over four decades, his quest for 'reasonable necessity and conscious freedom,' in a story that expands the conversion moment from a singular threshold into a vast, fraught, thrilling terrain. It offers a beautifully scholarly examination of Tolstoy's thinking on faith that gives us new readings of both his philosophy and his literary works, while also offering an exploration of faith, doubt, and conversion in nineteenth-century Russia.
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Medzhibovskaya explores Tolstoy's movement towards conversion within a rich variety of contexts. She offers a highly detailed profile of the complex environment in which Tolstoy came of age as a thinker, an environment that incorporated Western philosophy, Orthodox theology, and the Russian literary and political tradition. She also puts Tolstoy's conversion within the context of contemporary theories of how conversions work. Tolstoy and the Religious Culture of His Time offers a fresh, powerful, and convincing reading of Tolstoy's life, work, and faith.
Grounded in careful, thorough scholarship, it provides us with a way of thinking about Tolstoy that is ultimately new. It is a must-read not only for Tolstoy scholars, but also for anyone interested in Orthodoxy, doubt, and conversion. The quantity and thoroughness of Medzhibovskaya's research are stupendous.
In Tolstoy and the Religious Culture of his Time, Inessa Medzhibovskaya weaves such references into a retelling of Tolstoy's life and works from beginning to end. Neither traditional Orthodox Christian nor doubting Western philosopher, Medzhibovskaya's Tolstoy employs all available weapons in a lifelong struggle with faith very relevant to readers today.
Medzhibovskaya stresses the fact that influential intellectual currents were as important to Tolstoy as believers and nonbelievers were from and beyond his immediate environment. The author argues that, in this sense, Tolstoy's conversion emerges as deeply intertextual, and this surprising discovery should not diminish our trust in Tolstoy's sincerity during his religious evolution, which occurred both spontaneously as well as deliberately.see url
Tolstoy and His Problems
The polyphony of discreet spiritual moments that Tolstoy created by fusing in his narratives of conversion religious and artistic realms is arguably his greatest contribution to spiritual autobiography. Chapter 02 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Nonbeliever. Chapter 03 Superfluity and the Religion of Writing Chapter 04 Belief System in War and Peace The Case With the Epilogues.
From Philosophy to Christ Chapter 10 Logos and its Life in the World Chapter 11 The Death of Ivan Ilich. Chapter 12 On Life and Conclusion.