Tolstoy, perhaps one of the most widely read writers in world history, appears as an important name who influenced many different fields with her extraordinary life and the world of thought as well as her skill and reputation in the world of literature. Tolstoy, who searched for answers to the ancient questions of human history in his own scale, especially in the second half of his eighty-two years of life, did not hesitate to criticize religion, science and art in order to find the answers to these questions. This questioning attitude of his not only recommended a new moral doctrine but also put him in an unforgettable place in history as a freedom fighter beyond his time. In this sense, in order to understand Tolstoy, it is necessary to focus on his mission of seeking rights and morals as well as his literary and artistic identity, which makes him one of the most read names in the world. Thus, it would be a great injustice to describe Tolstoy as just a good writer. His extraordinary life has a great role in attributing him to many titles such as conscience pioneer, anarchist, soldier, moral and religious teacher, environmentalist, war correspondent, social reformist, as well as authorship.
Tolstoy, who is not content with being an author of world-famous novels and literary masterpieces in his journey of life, is also a name in the world of thought as a thinker who tries to understand life in a real sense and therefore constantly seeks answers to questions that occupy his mind in the triangle of religion, art and science. He never met religion, science and art with a basic acceptance, and he never adopted the position of the positivist hedonist world against Christianity, especially brought by his age. However, his view of Christianity is always knotted in the thought that there are some dilemmas. Therefore, Zweig defines Tolstoy as "artificial Christian".
In all these contradictions, Tolstoy interpreted the biblical doctrine of "do not resist evil" as "do not resist evil violently" and preferred to be a traveler on a path from religion to morality while describing modern science and art as corrupt fields. This way, which he defines as pure religion (Christianity), is based on love, unlike the church, science and art where imitative, hedonistic and self-seeking relations are institutionalized. So much so that this love corresponds to a world of meaning that he calls religious consciousness and which he considers necessarily present in all societies. Tolstoy, who thought that Christianity could not fill this religious consciousness during his lifetime, thinks that the love that represents pure Christianity should be brought to the fore.
One of the basic concepts of Tolstoy's teaching on love is eternity and God who owns this eternity. For Tolstoy, God is the source of absolute eternity (immortality) and love, although he is excommunicated by the church and has experienced tides of suspicion repeatedly gnawing at his mind throughout his life.
Tolstoy thinks there must be a link between immortality and mortality. Thus, not being able to establish this connection means the meaninglessness of life. However, if Tolstoy did not end his life himself, as he himself stated, this situation comes from his belief in the meaning of life. Tolstoy establishes this relationship through death. Therefore, one of the central concepts in his teaching is death. The most important function of belief is to give eternity to the mortal existence of man. This means a meaning that does not disappear with death. Therefore, no matter how illogical faith gives answers, it ultimately establishes the relationship of the mortal with the immortal.
Finally, Tolstoy thinks that this teaching must appear in one's life. His teaching about life is also actionist. However, although this actionist is rebellious in the defense of what he knows (for this reason his writings are often banned), he is just as modest in living life. For this reason, he determined a simplicity attitude towards living the world with pleasure as a basic stance of his life. Tolstoy, who thinks that the way of those who find true love passes through simplicity, preferred to live his life like the Russian peasants, whom he saw the best examples of doing this. In this sense, in the works written by Tolstoy, it is possible to see belief (religious consciousness), absolute eternity and love, death and simplicity, which are the keystones of this teaching, in all its simplicity and literary magnificence.
Tolstoy dünya tarihinin en çok okunan yazarlarından biri olmanın yanında gerek sıra dışı yaşamı gerekse çağını aşan düşünceleri ile halen düşünce dünyasının önemli bir isimlerinden biri olma özelliğini taşımaktadır. Çokça dile getirilen edebi dehası onun düşünce dünyasına kattıklarını gölgelemiştir. Özellikle bulunduğu çağın baskın düşünce tasarımına karşı yürüttüğü savaş onu yaşadığı dönemde de aksiyoner bir düşünür haline getirmiştir. Tolstoy’un bu aksiyoner tavrı romanları dışında yazmış olduğu kitaplarda özellikle din, bilim ve sanat üzerine getirdiği eleştiriler ile onu zamanla yeni bir ahlak öğretisine doğru götürmüştür. Ona göre ne din ne bilim ne de sanat iddia ettikleri gibi tüm sorulara cevap verememektedir. Dahası insanın kadim sorularına / sorunlarına da cevap bulmada yetersizdir.
Tüm bu çelişkiler içerisinde Tolstoy, İncil’in ‘kötüye karşı koymayın’ öğretisini ‘kötüye şiddetle karşı koymayın’ şeklinde yorumlamış ve modern bilimi ve sanatı yozlaşmış alanlar olarak tarif ederken dinden ahlaka doğru giden bir yolun yolcusu olmayı tercih etmiştir. Saf din olarak tanımladığı bu yol, taklitçi, hazcı ve çıkarcı ilişkilerin kurumsallaştığı kilise, bilim ve sanatın aksine sevgiyi temel alır. Öyle ki bu sevgi onun dinsel bilinç olarak adlandırdığı ve tüm toplumlarda mutlaka var olduğunu düşündüğü bir anlam dünyasına tekabül eder. bu nedenle Tolstoy’un yazmış olduğu eserlerde inanç, mutlak sonsuzluk ve sevgiyi, ölümü ve sadeliği bütün yalınlığı ve edebi ihtişamıyla görmemiz mümkündür.