CHRISTOYANNOPOULOS, A.J.M.E., 2014. The Golden Rule on the green stick: Leo Tolstoy's 'postsecular' international thought. IN: Mavelli, L. and Petito, F. (eds). Towards a Postsecular International Politics: New Forms of Community, Identity, and Power. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.81-102.
Culture and Religion in International Relations
Tolstoy argued that the core moral teaching of all religious and secular traditions is similar; that this rational core preaches love and a variant of the Golden Rule; that international peace can only be achieved by refusing to concede to the adoption of violent means to resist injustice; and that therefore we all need to strive, by personal example, towards a nonviolent, stateless but peaceful and just utopia. Tolstoy’s thought thus provides a potential bridge between secular and religious ideologies (by adopting a language that speaks to and is rooted in both); recalls the simple yet shared moral teaching which could revolutionize the current foundation of the international order; and articulates a critique of political institutions that resonates with and complements recent scholarship.
This book chapter is closed access until 20th August 2017.