Article: PDF
DOI: 10.51762/1FK-2022-27-01-01
Abstract: Lev TolstoI developed his religious ideas in conscious opposition to the Orthodox faith in which he was raised. He was deeply imbued with Orthodox thinking and incorporated important elements of Orthodox spirituality into his religious system. However, in its basic structure, his teaching differed significantly from the Orthodox worldview. The elements he took from Orthodox spirituality underwent a radical change of meaning when it was applied to his teaching. Thus, in defining Tolstoi’s relationship to the Orthodox Church, we must simultaneously emphasize both continuity and rupture. To say that Tolstoy was influenced by Orthodox spirituality is not to say that he was an Orthodox believer in any way – obviously he was not. Rather, we must acknowledge that in 19th-century Russia, the worldview of the Orthodox Church rubbed off on even some of its most vehement detractors. In A Confession, his first religious text after his spiritual crisis in the late 1870s, Tolstoi argued that in Orthodoxy there is “both truth and falsehood”. This view can be found even in his most viciously anti-Orthodox work, An examination of Dogmatic Theology, an almost forgotten book which is important for our understanding Tolstoi’s attitude towards Orthodoxy. In this article, I focus on two points: his anthropology and his view on how we can understand God. I combine textual and contextual analysis, that is, a careful reading of this book with a reading of the theological treatises on which he based his criticism.
Key words: Lev Tolstoi; Russian Orthodoxy; Orthodox spirituality; Christian Anthropology; Theology; Metropolitan Makarii (Bulgakov).

Для цитирования:

Кольстë, П. Православие наизнанку: отражение некоторых православных идей в религиозном мышлении Льва Толстого / П. Кольстё // Philological Class. – 2022. – Vol. 27 ⋅ №1. – С. 8-21. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2022-27-01-01.

For citation

Kolstø, P. (2022). Orthodoxy Inside-Out: How Certain Orthodox Ideas Are Reflected in Lev Tolstoi’s Religious Thinking. In Philological Class. 2022. Vol. 27 ⋅ №1. P. 8-21. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2022-27-01-01.

About the author(s) :

Pål Kolstø

University of Oslo (Oslo, Norway)

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2745-4198

Publication Timeline:

Date of receipt: 09.02.2022; date of publication: 30.03.2022


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