— Leo Tolstoy Russian writer 1828 - 1910
What is Art? (1897)
Contexto: Humanity unceasingly strives forward from a lower, more partial and obscure understanding of life to one more general and more lucid. And in this, as in every movement, there are leaders — those who have understood the meaning of life more clearly than others — and of those advanced men there is always one who has in his words and life, manifested this meaning more clearly, accessibly, and strongly than others. This man's expression … with those superstitions, traditions, and ceremonies which usually form around the memory of such a man, is what is called a religion. Religions are the exponents of the highest comprehension of life … within a given age in a given society … a basis for evaluating human sentiments. If feelings bring people nearer to the religion's ideal … they are good, if these estrange them from it, and oppose it, they are bad.