Academic journal article European Research Studies

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy: Political and Legal Views and Protection of Religious Rights

Academic journal article European Research Studies

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy: Political and Legal Views and Protection of Religious Rights

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

1.1. Introduction to the Problem

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, a world-famous writer, the author of the novels "War and Peace", "Anna Karenina", "Resurrection" and others, severely criticized unfair social system, ruling classes and public church for whom he always was a "rebel" and a "heretic".

His writings, literary articles, philosophic essays, memoirs and social and political essays compose rich and unique historical and cultural heritage of Russia, containing a huge amount of various ideas having a great influence on today's spiritual life of the society. In the context pf political and legal changes, the growth of social unrest, deformation of spiritual and moral values Tolstoy's views on society, state, human and his meaning of life, his purpose and self-improvement gain especially significant scientific and practical meaning.

1.2. Importance of the Problem

Tolstoy worked at the boundary between the 19th and the 20th centuries during the period of rapid growth of progressive social and democratic ideas, social and political movement, reforms revealing new opportunities for legal development of Russia. In his works and reflections Lev Nikolaevich paid special attention to the fate of the Russian people, Russian village and the search of a way to fairly arrange live for every man. Address to Tolstoy's heritage arose from the need in a detailed grasp and recognition of the accomplishments of the thinker as many aspects of social and economic and political and legal position of Russia during that period are still relevant. Tolstoy's views can help to recover knowledge about political and legal approaches to understand legally significant events and to motivate further development of current scientific ideas about society, politics, state, law and legislation.

1.3. Relevant Scholarship

Tolstoy's phenomenon has been a subject of studies for over one hundred years which led to appearance of a special religious tradition "Tostovstvo" (Tolstoy religious movement) and interdisciplinary field of knowledge "Tolstovovedenije" (Tolstoy studies). Historiography of Tolstoy's work is huge; the works of bibliographers, writers, publicists, literature critics, thinkers and educators comprise the gold fund. During the Soviet period the works of Tolstoy were often viewed in the context of ideological principles and that did not allow the researches objectively explore all the aspects of Tolstoy's work and to reveal a true meaning of his points of view. At the present time Tolstoy's heritage is still being studied and unexplored facts are gradually revealed. As one of the leading Russian literature scholar Luchenetskaya-Burdina says his works are still one of the unsolved problems of Russian literature studies (Luchenetskaya-Burdina, 2002, p. 3). Speaking about religious and philosophical and political and legal attitudes of Tolstoy, we may classify them as the aspects of the heritage which are not explored enough. Among the most known historical and biographical, literary, philosophical, pedagogical and religious studies of Tolstoy's works during the Soviet period and at present times are the works by Galagan (1984), Lomunov (1991), Tarasov (1998), Zhurina (2002), Luchenetskaya-Burdina (2002), Gluschenko (2004), Gulin (2004), and Orekhanov (2012). Galagan pointed at indivisibility of Tolstoy as an artist and as a thinker who thoroughly studied inner motivations of a Russian patriarchal peasant and his traditional way of life, thinking that the people are "self-making power". In his writings Tolstoy considered the problem of creative approach to correlation between ethical and aesthetical, giving a critical role to moral aspects of a life of a man and his religious views. Tolstoy showed that people might gradually get used to following elementary, known for centuries and mentioned in all the books rules of conduct, to follow them without violence, without forcing and obeying on the part of the state, a particular machinery for forcing people (Galagan, 1984. …

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