By: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
Leo Tolstoy's "A Confession," written in 1882 shortly after a life-altering spiritual crisis, is a brutally sincere reflection on life, morality, and the nature of faith. Tolstoy describes in great detail the process by which he lost his faith in established Christian churches, the meaninglessness of wealth and fame, the agony of acute depression, and how he overcame misery and dread through personal study of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Along the way, he contrasts the artificial faith and arrogance of educated people with the genuine faith and humility of the Russian peasant. This work, and others of its ilk, were aggressively censored by the Tsarist regime and directly led to Tolstoy being excommunicated by the Russian Orthodox Church. Summary by Paul Rizik.