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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


TENAI, Noah K.. The simple living of Leo Tolstoy and the slippery slope of consumerism in a context of poverty: A pastoral guide. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2016, vol.72, n.2, pp.1-10. ISSN 2072-8050.

The nature of consumerism, which manifests in the belief that excessive accumulation of material goods represents a fuller and more meaningful life, is a growing global phenomenon, and has an effect on both the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'. In addition, poverty levels globally and in Kenya in particular, remain unacceptably high. The situation of poverty in Kenya is partly worsened by the trapping effects of consumerism. The life of a wealthy and prosperous writer, Leo Tolstoy, who succumbed to depression in spite of his fame and material wealth, is examined with a view to establish how he overcame his depression and found meaning in life. The lessons he learnt from turning to a study of the peasantry are extrapolated and proposed for the churches' response to the challenge of consumerism in contexts of poverty.

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