In Petersburg in the eighteen-forties a surprising event occurred. An officer of the Cuirassier Life Guards, a handsome prince who everyone. ”Father Sergius,” the Russian film that opens today at the Film Forum, It’s Leo Tolstoy’s posthumously published novella, adapted and. Father Sergius [Leo Tolstoy] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This anthology is a thorough introduction to classic literature for those who .

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The possibility for man to come to God lies precisely in the fact that he is a sinner… As he was pursued by desire and fear, so he was pursued by God. He becomes engaged to a high-class woman whom he loves, but when he finds out she used to sleep with the Tsar, he breaks the engagement and flees to a monastery, pursuing a path of holiness. tolsstoy

Father Sergius

Several years in, a woman comes to seduce him on a bet. Overcome by lust, he keeps his monastic vows in a rather extreme way: His ambition is his sergisu characteristic for most of the story, and he lives for achievement — first in the secular sphere, and subsequently in the religious.

So ambition grows out of a sense that all is not right, that Eden is lost and needs recovery. But what is the loss of Eden besides a deficiency of willpower, or a perversion of the will as Augustine put it or a deficiency of self-knowledge as a finite creature?


So ambition arises out of a sense of fallenness, but ambition is also checked by fallenness, or limited by it. Prince Kasatsky, the future ffather Sergius, lives in this impasse: The disruption, of course, comes in the knowledge that his fiance used to be a mistress of the Tsar.

The flaw of obsession with female sexual purity for him, the male, is a misplaced desire to ignore human limitation, to get back to Eden. Idolators of purity ignore the Fall, and they think that by joining themself with a wholly pure other that they can themselves return to a state of innocence.

So Tklstoy seeks purity himself in seclusion, makes the leap from Pharisee to Essene.

In the paradox of ambition presupposing limitation in the secular sphere, limitation has at last been made manifest, and Eden deconstructed. And his secular limits point to decidedly more spiritual ones, limits which he will attempt to transcend with equal fervor. But outward discipline only engenders more outward discipline: But he learns from her, because this is the new spirituality which will rightfully tather to define him: September Playlist Mockingbird says:.

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Holiness is Being a Vagabond: Reflections on Tolstoy’s “Father Sergius”

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Father Sergius – Christian Classics Ethereal Library

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