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Christian anarchism

9 March 2010

Christian Anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospel Christian Anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospel by Alexandre Christoyannopoulos

I’ve just added this book to my “to read” list, but here’s a review by Keith Hebden that makes it look interesting: A Pinch of Salt: Christian anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospel:

A Review of Alexandre Christoyannopoulos, Christian Anarchism: A political commentary on the gospel, Exeter, Imprint Academic, 2010.

Alex Christoyannopoulos’s new publication, Christian anarchism has been an labour of love for the author who has worked with thoroughness and care to present an almost exhaustive everything of Christian anarchism…

Christoyannopoulos notes the literalism in much of the Christian anarchist tradition as evidence of its place in a modernist worldview. This happens to be the same enlightenment worldview out of which anarchist theory was born. A post-modern shift in thinking for Christian anarchism would helpfully push boundaries of thinking, speaking and doing. Perhaps engagement with other faiths and contemporary anarchists will help make this happen.

Alexandre Christoyannopoulos does a great job of outlining the arguments that have been made and suggesting a number of possible directions for future discussion. This book could easily be for Christian anarchism what Gustavo Guttierez’s A Theology of Liberation was for that school of thought. And if anyone thinks theology can’t change anything look at The Jubilee Debt campaign, Fair Trade and the many other ways in which liberation theology has shaped political agendas and policies over the last fifty years. Then buy this book and see if Christian anarchism can do it all over again.

View all my reviews >>

9 Comments leave one →
  1. 9 March 2010 3:33 am

    One worries that all this talk about postmodern Christianity just leads back in the same brainless direction of Fukuyama and end-of-history consumerist cant. A radical worldview needn’t associate itself with religion, although it would be nice to believe in an alliance between radicals and anti-consumerist Christians. I am very suspicious though of the the Christian movement, in all its manifestations.

  2. 10 March 2010 8:10 pm

    I read an article on anarchism lately. I imagined Molotov cocktails and so on. But it turns out we Congregationalists are awfully close to anarchism. 🙂

  3. 6 August 2010 12:20 am

    omg religious anarchism is insane.

    • 6 August 2010 8:04 am


      Sanity is an illusion cause by mescaline deficiency.

  4. tony wells permalink
    16 January 2011 4:08 pm

    not at all insane, in fact as stated in the above review, anarchism (theory) was born out of the liberating ideas of christianity….look again at the teachings of christ, turning the tables on the money changers, “the kingdom of god is within you” i.e. trust your inner voice, we are in the world but not of the world, satan is behind all worldly principalities and powers….those so called christians who maintain that the bible is the word of god and nothing else, they deny the idea of a living god………who needs the bible, really……we have been lied to and are led astray by the conformists, the monopolists, the promoters of greed and competition, the selfish, the trumpeteers of the “free market” who are only really interested in maintaining the status quo and increasing their personal profits….we need to turn the tables and throw them out before its too late, the planet and her children are suffering….how much longer?

  5. tony wells permalink
    16 January 2011 4:12 pm

    spread love! like peanut butter! let´s all stop the suffering of animals, the poisoning of mother earth, burn your cars……………….burn your flags
    let´s march together
    in love
    in peace
    in overstanding
    in solidarity with all living beings
    the body of god

  6. 18 January 2011 8:29 am

    @Tony. You’re not familiar then with free-market anarchism / anarcho-capitalism? Anarchy alone does not ensure a left wing utopia. Indeed, I’d suggest the US “Libertarian” movement shows definite leanings towards anarcho-capitalism. Personally I have some sympathies towards anarcho-socialism but I don’t think leadership is completely valueless. I’m inclinded more towards upside-down leadership than no leadership. All isms tend towards idolatry in any case. We need to be prepared from Jesus to cast a critical shodow over any system we would create.

    • tony wells permalink
      18 January 2011 2:10 pm

      hey matt….yes i am aware of the so-called anarcho-capitalists. in 1983 when i left s.a. with my tail between my legs, i was fascinated by a small bookshop i discovered in the city of london, which looked a little like the 121 bookshop down brixton way where i was squatting, the shop was painted red and black….upon closer inspection, the windows had these photo displays of the “terrorists” named swapo and mpla under the motto of like how s.a. was facing this onslaught from social/communism and i was shocked! i couldn´t believe it, but then again remembered reading some of ayn rand´s books and a light went on. now here in germany we have a coalition between conservatives and the fdp who fancy themselves as liberals/free marketeers and really are just the promoters of greed, and they have decided, against a consensus that took ages to build up, to allow the nuclear plants another extra 14 years of life……i agree that the multinationals have (long) become a law unto themselves and the latest global recession is a direct result of this singing the praises of greed….i think of aldous huxley´s book “island” and look over the border at france who seem to be mad about a-energy and are building even more, newer, better, safer! nuclear plants, and germany of course is exporting the technology and know-how, internationally….how can we organise….i have a 1 cent coin from the year of my birth (it´s HUGE!) and imprinted on it is the slogan “eendrag maak mag” (unity is strength) and the flipside is the old british maxim of divide and rule……maybe a good starting place is, please anybody interested in positive change, become a member and when we realise just how many of us there are, then we shall not be cowed, then we shall know that we ARE the masses! i don´t know if i´m a christian really, i know that sometimes i´m filled up to the brim with love for my planet gaia and her children of all species, in a way i believe this to be god manifest……..and of course their are good leaders…lao tzu would say a good leader doesn´t lead but allows the peasants to do what they do best……but thinking of my beloved africa, we are crying out for good leaders, and education, and “they” keep taking them away (r.i.p. steve biko, not forgotten)
      long live bishop tutu´s smile!
      anarchy only ever was about self-responsibility
      no gods, no masters
      long may you shine
      bishop tutu´s SMILE!

  7. tony wells permalink
    18 January 2011 2:12 pm

    give me an “ism” and i´ll give you a schism
    give ma a single issue and i´ll give you a tissue!

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