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May 20, 2011



The biggest irony about the conservative evangelical response to the 'is Gandhi in Hell because he wasn't a Christian' question is that Gandhi's ethical and political ideology was profoundly- some might even say predominantly- influenced by Christian thinking. He cited Tolstoy's 'The Kingdom of God is within you' and John Ruskin's 'Unto this last' as two of the most important influences on his thinking. Tolstoy and Ruskin were both devout Christians, and the books both espouse the radical application of Jesus's ideology to they way one lives and the economy respectively. But then again, Tolstoy and Ruskin might be ambiguous figures to conservative evangelicals despite their christianity; Tolstoy was a Russian, and Ruskin was a critic of capitalism and might have been gay. Hmmmm.

John Petty

I know that you're right, although I'm personally not familiar with either Tolstoy or Ruskin. I might give Ruskin a read.

Gandhi's was certainly influenced by the sermon on the mount. Incidentally, over the last 40 years or so, non-violent resistance has resulted in far more changes of government than has violence.

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