Tolstoyan

From Academic Kids

The adjective Tolstoyan (also spelled Tolstoian) refers to the author Leo Tolstoy.

The Tolstoyans (Толстовцы, Tolstovtsy) were followers of the philosophy of Leo Tolstoy. They were nominally Christians, though in a departure from mainstream Christianity Tolstoyans tended to focus more on the teachings of Jesus as a wise man rather than as the son of God.

They were opposed to government and institutions, especially churches, which the Tolstoyans considered as evil and corrupt. Thus, they may be technically described as anarchists, though they didn't claim the title.

They were extreme pacifists and preached non-violence in all circumstances, including non-resistance rather than self-defense. This is the same philosophy that was later adopted by Mahatma Gandhi.

Tolstoyans had problems with the Tsarist regimes, and even more so with the Bolshevik ones. By 1930, many Tolstoyans had to relocate to Siberia to avoid being liquidated as kulaks, but Stalin's police nevertheless arrested them and sent them to labor camps from 1936 to 1939.

See also

The Kingdom of God is Within You

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