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What Is Art? by Leo Tolstoy

The religious perception of our time, in its widest and most practical application, is the consciousness that our well-being, both material and spiritual, individual and collective, temporal and eternal, lies in the growth of brotherhood among all men — in their loving harmony with one another. This perception is not only expressed by Christ and all the best men of past ages, it is not only repeated in the most varied forms and from most diverse sides by the best men of our own times, but it already serves as a clue to all the complex labor of humanity, consisting as this labor does, on the one hand, in the destruction of physical and moral obstacles to the union of men, and on the other hand, in establishing the principles common to all men which can and should unite them into one universal brotherhood. 

— Leo Tolstoy, Chapter Sixteen, What Is Art?


Leo Tolstoy (1828—1910) is regarded as one of the greatest writers in history, with
War and Peace and Anna Karenina his two greatest masterpieces. His interest in philosophy and theology would eventually lead him to become a well-known essayist on matters of religion, politics, education and culture, as well. He would eventually renounce his aristocratic roots and become a Christian anarchist and ­pacifist.

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The religious perception of our time, in its widest and most practical application, is the consciousness that our well-being, both material and spiritual, individual and collective, temporal and eternal, lies in the growth of brotherhood among all men — in their loving harmony with one another. This perception is not only expressed by Christ and all the best men of past ages, it is not only repeated in the most varied forms and from most diverse sides by the best men of our own times, but it already serves as a clue to all the complex labor of humanity, consisting as this labor does, on the one hand, in the destruction of physical and moral obstacles to the union of men, and on the other hand, in establishing the principles common to all men which can and should unite them into one universal brotherhood. 

— Leo Tolstoy, Chapter Sixteen, What Is Art?


Leo Tolstoy (1828—1910) is regarded as one of the greatest writers in history, with
War and Peace and Anna Karenina his two greatest masterpieces. His interest in philosophy and theology would eventually lead him to become a well-known essayist on matters of religion, politics, education and culture, as well. He would eventually renounce his aristocratic roots and become a Christian anarchist and ­pacifist.

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