Jump directly to the Content


Opinion | Church

Want to Be Happy? Read, and See, Anna Karenina

Tolstoy's vision of happiness still resonates in a world starving for real contentment.

Mexican children must be reading Tolstoy. In a recent study titled "The New Definition of Childhood," a global brand agency headquartered in Chicago found that the happiest kids in the world live in Mexico—despite its many social ills and widespread poverty. The study asked 4,000 children ages 6 to12 in 12 countries what it's like to grow up today. According to the first-ever Global Kids Happiness Index, kids in Mexico were the happiest in the world, followed by Spain, Brazil, and Germany. American kids scored fifth. Across almost all countries, the most important source of happiness for kids is close family and friends.

Leo Tolstoy must be cheering from his grave.

The search for happiness is as old as time, and there's no end to where we've looked for it: love, work, home, family, friends, having everything, having nothing. This season, director Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) has brought to the big screen his adaptation of Anna Karenina, Tolstoy's tale of how two very different people seek happiness.

Tolstoy was a Russian nobleman who shunned his aristocratic heritage for the simple life of a peasant. He published Anna Karenina in serial installments from 1873 to 1877. During this period, Tolstoy was going through a deep spiritual struggle, one clearly depicted in the character Levin. It's impossible to call Tolstoy a Christian in the truest sense; he rejected the miraculous events in Scripture as well as Christ's ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.
Tags:No tags

Read These Next

hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.


Already a subscriber? to continue reading.