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"The inner working of my soul, which I wish to speak of here, was not the result of a methodical investigation of doctrinal theology, or of the actual texts of the gospel; it was a sudden removal of all that hid the true meaning of the Christian doctrine – a momentary flash of light, which made everything clear to me. It was something like that which might happen to a man who, after vainly attempting, by a false plan, to build up a statue out of a confused heap of small pieces of marble, suddenly guesses at the figure they are intended to form by the shape of the largest piece; and then, on beginning to set up the statue, finds his guess confirmed by the harmonious joining in of the various pieces." (Extract from Chapter 1)
Masterly work by Tolstoy on what Christ really taught and how this has been deliberately corrupted by the Church. David Barnes provides a very good narration.
Tolstoy compares the plain meaning of how Christ said Man should live to the corrupt and self-interested version of His teachings that the Church has taught. I can't quite accept the idea that self-defense is ruled out by the injunction not to resist evil, but I have a better understanding thanks to Tolstoy's work. David Barnes is a wonderful narrator of the work.
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