Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy: Political and Legal Views and Protection of Religious Rights

Y.N. Sushkova
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XIX, Issue 3B, 111-130, 2016
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/567


Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy is not only a well-known Russian writer, but a significant social leader who has made a great contribution to promoting unique political-legal views on law, government system, international relations, education and other important spheres of life. In the article the author provides an analysis of Tolstoy’s fundamental ideas considering major social fields. The reasons in personal life that affected his involvement in political and legal processes are studied. In the context of human rights protection Tolstoy actively acted on behalf of the Russian Doukhobors who had to emigrate at the end of XIXth-beginning of the XXth century from Russia to Canada. Many episodes in Tolstoy’s literary works are written on the real judicial cases, which demonstrated the legal system faults, unfairness of the existed social and political model. One of the major Tolstoy’s idea was pacifism, refusal of military actions in favor of diplomatic and peaceful conflict resolution that in years become more crucial in the modern society. Tostoy paid great attention to the analysis of the social structure of the Russian village, customary law of the peasants and their relations with state authorities. Tolstoy’s political and legal views present unique source of approaches and knowledge for minimization of the negative modern problems of Russian such as legal nihilism, law legal culture, corruption, bureaucracy. His literary heritage contains deep philosophical, methodological, fundamental ideas on the essence of life, mission of a human, role of the religion, civil and state institutions which could be considered as “eternal topics”, study of which for centuries showed constant interest and search by generations genuine values and constants of life.

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