The Library Basement
Reading under ground

Readings for September 2014

We took a vacation and had other distractions. Sadly I don't get so much reading done on vacations these days, but this too shall pass.

The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Leo Tolstoy

I found this re-read to be very stimulating. As a matter of fact, I marked up the margins with a pen and dog-eared a bunch of pages, something I feel quite certain I have not done since my college days. Tolstoy's writing requires response.

I may yet commit some of those marginal notations to blog posts, as I was planning when I first penned them. I think the primary value for me in reading this work is to reflect on Tolstoy's challenges to traditional power structures and to compare how my views fit with his.

As I often say, I am a Yoderian, meaning I support "legitimate" violence only as constrained by law in a legal system. Extra-judicial violence, especially wars of aggression, cannot conform to Christian standards. But Tolstoy is right there, questioning everything, and that has value. This book is recommended for mature readers.

Periodicals

  • Harper's October 2014

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