"The religion of Christ, but purged of theology and sacraments; a practical religion that would not promise a future bliss, but provide bliss on earth"—Tolstoy

Over the past few days I've been making one of my regular re-reads of Tolstoy's Gospel in Brief but this time using Daniel H. Shubin's translation found in "Leo Tolstoy and the Kingdom of God Within You" (2013). In the introduction Shubin quotes from an entry in Tolstoy's diary dated 4th March 1855 that he made whilst on active duty in Sevastopol:

Yesterday a conversation regarding divinity and faith led me to recognize an immense concept, the materialization of which I felt myself capable of dedicating my life to. This thought was the basis for a new religion, one that would be pertinent to the development of humanity. It would be the religion of Christ, but purged of theology and sacraments; a practical religion that would not promise a future bliss, but provide bliss on earth. It seems to me that the only manner to bring this concept to fulfillment would be the effort of successive generations consciously working toward this goal. One generation will bequeath this concept to the next and at some time, either motivation or intelligence will bring it to its materialization. To act consciously to unify people with this religion is the thought that I feel will drive me.

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