The Gospel in Brief
The Life of Jesus
Publication Date: March 2011
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The most celebrated novelist of all time retells "the greatest story ever told," integrating the four Gospels into a single twelve-chapter narrative of the life of Jesus. Based on his study of early Christian texts, Leo Tolstoy's remarkable The Gospel in Briefvirtually unknown to English readers until this landmark new translation by Dustin Condrenmakes accessible the powerful, mystical truth of Jesus's spiritual teaching, stripped of artificial church doctrine. "If you are not acquainted with The Gospel in Brief," wrote the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose life was profoundly influenced by it, "then you cannot imagine what an effect it can have upon a person."
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is the author of War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Family Happiness, and other classics of Russian literature.
“Dustin Condren captures, in this fresh idiomatic translation, the dazzlingly audacious achievement of The Gospel in Brief, Tolstoy’s daring synthesis the New Testament accounts of Jesus.”
-Edward E. Ericson, Jr., editor of The Solzhenitsyn Reader
“Newly translated by Dustin Condren, Tolstoy’s Gospel in Brief offers us a Jesus stripped of the overlay of Christian dogma and ancient metaphysics: his Jesus confronts readers with a real challenge and a call to change their lives.”
-George Pattison, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford, and canon of Christ Church Cathedral
“The Gospel in Brief lives at the center of Leo Tolstoy’s thinking about the meaning of life. ... Beautifully translated by Dustin Condren. ... Although little known, this book remains hugely important.”
-Jay Parini, author of The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Last Year
“A fresh translation destined to introduce a new generation to a fuller understanding of Tolstoy’s mind.”