On Resistance to Evil by Force
Written in 1925, On Resistance to Evil by Force is one of the most important tracts composed by white émigré philosopher Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin. Responding to the pacifist pretentions of Count Leo Tolstoy, Ilyin mounts a tenacious defence of the Orthodox tradition of physical opposition to evil. As he explains, in the face of evil which can be contained by no other means, a forceful response is not only permissible, but becomes a knightly duty. Further, heroic courage consists not only in recognising this duty, but in bearing its heavy moral burden without fear. In his own time, Ilyin penned this guide for the exiled Russian White Army in its continued resistance against the godless Bolsheviks, yet while the world has developed since the civil war which he lived through, Christians everywhere can still find great relevance in his words, for the same evil continues its designs through other means and under other names. Translated here into English for the first time, On Resistance to Evil by Force is destined to become a classic of Christian ethics.
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