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The Kingdom of God Is Within You

Leo Tolstoy

Book Overview: 

The title of the book comes from Luke 17:21. It is a non-fiction work of the famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy. He wrote it after many years of reflection on Christianity and Jesus. Many subjects are present such as wars, non-violence, misunderstanding by believers of the faith, etc.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .churches of all denominations, especially of later times, try to show themselves champions of progress in Christianity. They make concessions, wish to correct the abuses that have slipped into the Church, and maintain that one cannot, on account of these abuses, deny the principle itself of a Christian church, which alone can bind all men together in unity and be a mediator between men and God. But this is all a mistake. Not only have churches never bound men together in unity; they have always been one of the principal causes of division between men, of their hatred of one another, of wars, battles, inquisitions, massacres of St. Bartholomew, and so on. And the churches have never served as mediators between men and God. Such mediation is not wanted, and was directly forbidden by Christ, who has revealed his teaching directly and immediately to each man. But the churches set up dead forms in the place of God, and far from revealing God, they obscure him from men's s. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The book one may want to keep next to the Holy Bible at home. A book that one may not just 'read' but absorb, assimilate and learn to the core till he transforms himself into a wholly new being. Amazing read; probably the book to deserve the first place in my library.

Tolstoy in his own words: (se...more

this is an amazing book. i'm not a religious person and i can't say i believe in god, but this book sort of made me believe in jesus. not the supernatural aspects of him, but in his philosophy. tolstoy rips into the Church and gives no quarter, saying that the clergy are no better than gangsters....more

This book contains quite an admixture of positives and negatives. This review will attempt to disentangle some of the most significant.

The good: This book is polemic done well, stirring and appealing to the noblest human sentiments. Tolstoy is keen to impress his readers with the contradiction be...more

My dad and I read this book together. We both really liked it, and we had good conversations about it. In many places, Tolstoy writes the very idea that I would write about Christianity and about non-violent resistance, about Christian anarchy (a phrase he doesn't use, of course), about hypocrisy...more

Working on review. Seriously.

Mhatma Ghandi said of this book, "Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God is Within You overwhelmed me. It left an abiding impression on me. Before the independent thinking, profound morality and the truthfulness of this book, all the books given me...seemed to pale into insignificance." This was lovingly w...more

I have read two of Tolstoy's other masterpieces in "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina." For all the brilliant prose in these two works of penultimate genius, to really understand the heart of the novelist writing about his society, these essays lend powerful insight. The essays begin as Tolstoy r...more

What does a nation established in Christ’s principles look like?

Does it wage war?
Does it maintain a standing army?
Does it manufacture nuclear weapons? Landmines? Assault rifles? Hand guns?

Does it torture people?
Waterboard people?
Imprison people?

Are there poor people in a Christian nation?
Are ther...more

I think this book has a lot of great merits, yet I cannot rate something such as this higher when it has so strange a premise:

Tolstoy postulates that Christ didn't live, that we don't need a living Savior, and that Christianity is two-thirds deception, and then he says that the principles which C...more

Tolstoy is my favorite writer.
'The Kingdom of God Is Within You' is a book that heavily influenced Gandhi in his epic battle for justice and compassion within and, then, against the British Empire.

It is not what you might think though. It is heavily censorious of prevailing assumptions in Chris...more

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