Christian Anarchism

Christian anarchism is an ideology which combines anarchism and Christianity. The foundation of Christian anarchism is a rejection of violence with Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You regarded as a key text.[1] Tolstoy sought to separate Russian Orthodox Christianity, which was merged with the state, from what he believed was the true message of Jesus as contained in the four Gospels and specifically the Sermon on the Mount. Tolstoy takes the viewpoint that all governments who wage war, and churches who in turn support those governments, are an affront to the Christian principles of nonviolence and nonresistance. Although Tolstoy never actually used the term "Christian anarchism" in The Kingdom of God Is Within You, reviews of this book following its publication in 1894 coined the term.[2]

Christian anarchism appears closer to communist anarchism than to individualist anarchism,[3] except for some strains of Christian anarchism that appeared in America which are more individualistic.[4]


[edit] History

[edit] The Life and Teaching of Jesus

Leo Tolstoy wrote extensively on Christian anarchism.

More than any other text, the four Gospels are used as the basis for Christian anarchism, according to Dorothy Day, Ammon Hennacy and Leo Tolstoy, who constantly refer back to the words of Jesus in their social and political texts. For example, the title "The Kingdom of God is Within You" is a direct quote of Jesus from Luke 17:21. Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement particularly favored the Works of Mercy (Matthew 25:31–46), which were a recurring theme in both their writing and art.

Many Christian anarchists say that Jesus opposed the use of government power, even for supposedly good purposes like welfare. They point to Luke 22:25, which says: "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over the people; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves –Benefactors.– But you are not to be like that."

Jesus antagonised the –system– ruled by Satan: "He sent me forth to preach a release to the captives, to send the crushed ones away with a release." (Luke 4:18,19, John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, 17:16, 18:36). He was against human leadership (Matthew 23:8-12), and he refused to be made king (Matthew 4:8-10 John 6:15).

The first Christians opposed the primacy of the State: –We must obey God as ruler rather than men– (Acts 4:19, 5:29, 1 Corinthians 6:1-6); "Stripping the governments and the authorities bare, he exhibited them in open public as conquered, leading them in a triumphal procession by means of it.– (Colossians 2:15). Eschatology identifies the State with the wild beast (Revelation chapters 13, 14, 17) and predicts an end to oppression: "The meek ones will possess the earth." (Psalms 37:10,11,28).

The anarchist attitude comes from the Old Testament: Nimrod was disapproved for becoming a dominator (Genesis 10:8,9). Abraham, who left civilization to life in tents, conflicted with Nimrod. (Jewish tradition Gen. R. Pesik. R.). Moses led the Hebrews out of captivity to the Egyptian state (Exodus 3:7,10), and the nation remained three centuries without king: –In those days there was no king in Israel. As for everybody, what was right in his own eyes he was accustomed to do." (Judges 17:6, 21:25). Gideon refused to be made king: "Jehovah is the one who will rule over you." (Judges 8:23), and his son described the state as parasites (Judges 9:8-21). Samuel then warned the Hebrews against the evils of a kingdom (1 Samuel 8:5-18). The prophets disapproved domination (Ecclesiastes 8:9, Jeremiah 25:34, Ezekiel 34:10, 45:8, Hosea 13:10,11), and a God's kingdom of freedom was envisioned (Isaiah 2:4, 65:22).

[edit] The early Church

Some of the early Christian communities seem to have practiced certain features of anarchism. For example, the Jerusalem group, as described in Acts, shared their money and labor equally and fairly among the members.[5] From the earliest period, women and men seem to have shared religious duties equally, though the public offices, such as missionary work and Temple observances, seem to have been held mostly by men.[6] However, note the case of Phoebe in Romans 16:1-2: "I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant (îîîîî¿îî¿) of the church in Cenchreae, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also."Referring here to Phoebe, the word rendered "servant" being in the Greek îîîîî¿îî¿ (di'a–ko–nos), the parallel English word being deaconess, and in the context of the above quote, this denotes a servant who is given servants to manage, in effect, a deaconess,one who delegates, a manager, though in most ways, Christianity did not differ from any of the other Jewish sects active in the ancient world.

Some, such as Ammon Hennacy,[7] have claimed that a "shift" away from Jesus' practices and teachings of nonviolence, simple living and freedom occurred in the theology of Paul of Tarsus, see also Paul of Tarsus and Judaism. These individuals suggest that Christians should look at returning to pre-"Pauline Christianity". Although there is some evidence that egalitarian Jewish Christians existed shortly after Jesus's death, possibly including the Ebionites, the majority of Christians soon followed a more hierarchical religious structure, particularly after the First Council of Nicaea (see also First seven Ecumenical Councils).

Other Christians say that Paul's teachings emphasized congregational autonomy, servant-like leadership within the churches, prohibitions on one-man rule even in a local church, and other practices which contrast with this claim.[citation needed] Evidence of this interpretation can be found in Galatians 3:28.

[edit] The conversion of the Roman Empire

After the conversion of the emperor Emperor Constantine, Christianity was legalised under the Edict of Milan in 313 bringing an end to the persecution of Christians. Some Christian anarchists argue that this merger of Church and state marks the beginning of the "Constantinian shift", in which Christianity gradually came to be identified with the will of the ruling elite and, in some cases, a religious justification for the exercise of power.[citation needed]

[edit] Anarchist Biblical views and practices

[edit] Antinomianism

Some Christian anarchists self-identify as antinomian, often meaning that they do not consider themselves subject to a moral law given by religious or other authorities, but most frequently applying to the Old Testament. Anne Hutchinson was among the early Christian anarchists in America in the 1600s, holding to a belief in the form of, or similar to, individualist anarchism, upholding the right of individuals to determine their own lives.[8][9] Many base their beliefs upon an interpretation of the simple principles and historic messages of Jesus, such as the Sermon on the Mount, while others hold a higher critical view of the Bible, allowing for more lenient interpretation.

Opponents of Christian anarchism, ranging from Jewish to Catholic to certain Protestant sects, have criticized the anarchist viewpoint for what they view as rejection of the "inerrant Word of God" and also of church leadership. They believe that there is a need for a law to maintain order, while anarchists claim that people do not require legislation. See also Biblical law in Christianity.

[edit] Mysticism

The spirituality of a Christian anarchist can be as diverse as in any Christian tradition. For Christian anarchists who have their roots in the New Testament their spirituality may be described as mystical but is also very orthodox.[citation needed] In both Christian monasticism and lay spirituality certain elements of anarchism which, while being present in normative Christianity, move more to the forefront. Thomas Merton, for instance, in his introduction to a translation of the Sayings of the Desert Fathers describes these early monastics as "Truly in certain sense 'anarchists,' and it will do no harm to think of them as such."[10] It is also written that "As of the 4th century A.D., the desert lands of Egypt saw the beginning of the longest-living anarchic society of all time: that of the Christian anachorites." [11][12]

Directly, anarchists have borrowed from Quakerism the method of facilitation and meetings known as consensus decision making. This technique, which forms a fundamental part of Quaker worship, is used in most anarchist meetings.[13]

[edit] Pacifism and nonviolence

Many Christian anarchists, such as Leo Tolstoy and Ammon Hennacy, are pacifists opposing the use of both proactive (offensive) and reactive (defensive) physical force. Hennacy believed that adherence to Christianity meant being a pacifist and, due to governments constantly threatening or using force to resolve conflicts, this meant being an anarchist. These individuals believe freedom will only be guided by the grace of God if they show compassion to others and turn the other cheek when confronted with violence. The links between other philosophies of Christian anarchists are also deeply tied to pacifism, more so than their equivalents in secular anarchism and state-sponsored churches.

A few of the key historic messages many Christian anarchists practice are the principles of nonviolence, nonresistance and turning the other cheek, which are illustrated in many passages of the New Testament and Hebrew Bible (e.g. the sixth commandment, Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17, "You shall not murder").

[edit] Simple living

Christian anarchists, such as Ammon Hennacy, often follow a simple lifestyle, for a variety of reasons, which may include environmental awareness or reducing taxable income.

[edit] States and state control

Not only does the action of Governments not deter men from crimes; on the contrary, it increases crime by always disturbing and lowering the moral standard of society. Nor can this be otherwise, since always and everywhere a Government, by its very nature, must put in the place of the highest, eternal, religious law (not written in books but in the hearts of men, and binding on every one) its own unjust, man-made laws, the object of which is neither justice nor the common good of all but various considerations of home and foreign expediency.

Leo Tolstoy, The Meaning of the Russian Revolution

The most common challenge for the Biblical literalists is integrating the passage in Romans 13:1–7 where Paul defends obedience to "governing authorities", arguing that "there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Christian anarchists who subscribe to Paul's teachings argue that this chapter is particularly worded to make it clear that organizations like the Roman Empire cannot qualify as governing authorities because they are not "approved" of God and do not recognize Him in word or action.[citation needed] If it could, then, according to Paul, "they [Christians] would have praise from the authorities" for doing good. Instead the early Christians were persecuted by the Roman Empire for doing good, and became martyrs. Further, the "governing authorities" that are legitimate in the passage were never given the authority to make laws, merely to enforce the natural laws against "doing harm to a neighbor" in verses 8-10 (see tort and contract law).[citation needed] This interpretation makes all statute laws of states illegitimate, except as they restate Biblical moral precepts. Some Christians subscribe to the belief that God did not establish all authorities on the earth.[citation needed]

A different interpretation of Romans 13 which is used to support Christian anarchism grants that the passage commands submission to all governing authorities, but points out that this does not equate to a vindication of those authorities. Vernard Eller articulates this position by restating the passage this way: "Be clear, any of those human [authorities] are where they are only because God is allowing them to be there. They exist only at his sufferance. And if God is willing to put up with ... the Roman Empire, you ought to be willing to put up with it, too. There is no indication God has called you to clear it out of the way or get it converted for him. You can't fight an Empire without becoming like the Roman Empire; so you had better leave such matters in God's hands where they belong."[14] This was the position held by French philosopher and Christian anarchist Jacques Ellul.

Ernst Kaseman, in his Commentary on Romans, has challenged the usual interpretations of Romans 13 in light of German Lutheran Churches using this passage as justification to support the Nazi holocaust.[15] Others hold that Romans 13 teaches submission to the state while not encouraging or even condoning Christian participation in the workings of the state. According to this view Jesus submitted to the state while still refusing its means.[citation needed]

Another passage of the New Testament also appears to require some amount of harmonization with the ideals espoused by Christian anarchism. Hebrews 13:17 commands Christians to "obey your leaders and submit to their authority",[16] without referencing to any circumstantial qualifications as to when this command applies.

There are other Christians, such as Ammon Hennacy, who do not see the need to integrate Paul's teachings in Romans 13:1–7 into their anarchist way of life. Ammon Hennacy believed "Paul spoiled the message of Christ".[17]

[edit] Tax resistance

Some Christian anarchists resist taxes in the belief that their government is engaged in immoral, unethical or destructive activities such as war, and paying taxes inevitably funds these activities, whilst others submit to taxation.

Adin Ballou wrote that if the act of resisting taxes requires physical force to withhold what a government tries to take, then it is important to submit to taxation. Ammon Hennacy, who, like Ballou also believed in nonresistance, managed to resist taxes without using force.[18]

Opponents cite that Jesus told his followers to "give to Caesar what is Caesar's," (Matthew 22:21). Christian anarchists interpret this passage as further advice to free oneself from material attachment. Jacques Ellul believes the passage shows that Caesar may have rights over the fiat money he produces, but not things that are made by God, as he explains:[19]

"Render unto Caesar..." in no way divides the exercise of authority into two realms....They were said in response to another matter: the payment of taxes, and the coin. The mark on the coin is that of Caesar; it is the mark of his property. Therefore give Caesar this money; it is his. It is not a question of legitimizing taxes! It means that Caesar, having created money, is its master. That's all. Let us not forget that money, for Jesus, is the domain of Mammon, a satanic domain!

[edit] Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism in the Christian tradition has a long history commencing in the first centuries of Church with the Desert Fathers and Desert Mothers who abandoned the "world of men" for intimacy with the God of Jesus Christ. Vegetarianism amongst hermits and Christian monastics in the Eastern Christian and Roman Catholic traditions remains common to this day as a means of simplifying one's life, and as a practice of asceticism. Many Christian anarchists, such as Tolstoy and Hennacy, extend their belief in nonviolence and compassion to all living beings through vegetarianism or veganism.[20]

[edit] Later anarchistic Christian groups

[edit] The Doukhobors

The origin of the Doukhobors dates back to 16th and 17th century Russia. The Doukhobors ("Spirit Wrestlers") are a radical Christian sect that maintains a belief in pacifism and a communal lifestyle, while rejecting secular government. In 1899, the Doukhobors fled repression in Tsarist Russia and migrated to Canada, mostly in the provinces of Saskatchewan and British Columbia. The trip was paid for by the Quakers and Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. Canada was suggested to Leo Tolstoy as a safe-haven for the Doukhobors by anarchist Peter Kropotkin who, while on a speaking tour across the country, observed the religious tolerance experienced by the Mennonites.

[edit] Catholic Worker Movement

Established by Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day in the early 1930s, The Catholic Worker Movement is a Christian movement dedicated to nonviolence and simple living. Over 130 Catholic Worker communities exist in the United States where "houses of hospitality" care for the homeless. The Joe Hill House of hospitality (which closed in 1968) in Salt Lake City, Utah featured an enormous twelve feet by fifteen foot mural of Jesus Christ and Joe Hill.

The Catholic Worker Movement has consistently protested against war and violence for over seven decades. Many of the leading figures in the movement have been both anarchists and pacifists. Catholic Worker Ammon Hennacy defined Christian anarchism as:

–being based upon the answer of Jesus to the Pharisees when Jesus said that he without sin should be the first to cast the stone, and upon the Sermon on the Mount which advises the return of good for evil and the turning of the other cheek. Therefore, when we take any part in government by voting for legislative, judicial, and executive officials, we make these men our arm by which we cast a stone and deny the Sermon on the Mount.

The dictionary definition of a Christian is one who follows Christ; kind, kindly, Christ-like. Anarchism is voluntary cooperation for good, with the right of secession. A Christian anarchist is therefore one who turns the other cheek, overturns the tables of the moneychangers, and does not need a cop to tell him how to behave. A Christian anarchist does not depend upon bullets or ballots to achieve his ideal; he achieves that ideal daily by the One-Man Revolution with which he faces a decadent, confused, and dying world".

Maurin and Day were both baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church and believed in the institution, thus showing it is possible to be a Christian anarchist and still choose to remain within a church. After her death, Day was proposed for sainthood by the Claretian Missionaries in 1983. Pope John Paul II granted the Archdiocese of New York permission to open Day's cause for sainthood in March 2000, calling her a Servant of God.

[edit] Student Christian Movement

Streams within the World Student Christian Federation, an international ecumenical network, follow anarchistic principles of Biblical interpretation, including non-creedal faith expressions, radical social justice activism, non-hierarchical decision-making structures and commitment to resisting oppression and imperialism. Some member movements, or Student Christian Movements, openly embrace a Christian anarchist ethic and structure, for instance the Student Christian Movement of Canada which makes decisions by consensus, adheres to a decentralized, autonomous structure and opposes hierarchies.

[edit] Anarchist quotations

Petr Cheläick

The man who obeys God needs no other authority (over him).

Ammon Hennacy

An anarchist is anyone who doesn't need a cop to tell him what to do.
Oh, judge, your damn laws: the good people don't need them and the bad people don't follow them, so what good are they?
Being a pacifist between wars is as easy as being a vegetarian between meals.

David Lipscomb

All the wars and strifes between tribes, races, nations, from the beginning until now, have been the result of man's effort to govern himself and the world, rather than to submit to the government of God. (On Civil Government, 14)
Human government bears the same relation to hell as the church bears to heaven. (On Civil Government, 72).
Every one who honors and serves the human government and relies upon it, for good, more than he does upon the Divine government, worships and serves the creature more than he does the Creator. (On Civil Government, 50).
It is the duty of the Christian to submit to the human government in its office and work and to seek its destruction only by spreading the religion of Christ and so converting men from service to the earthly government to service to the heavenly one, and so, too, by removing the necessity for its existence and work. No violence, no sword, no bitterness or wrath can he use. The spread of the peaceful principles of the Savior, will draw men out of the kingdoms of earth into the kingdom of God. (On Civil Government, 84-85).

Leo Tolstoy

All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.
In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.

Jacques Ellul

There are different forms of anarchy and different currents in it. I must, first say very simply what anarchy I have in view. By anarchy I mean first an absolute rejection of violence.
What seems to be one of the disasters of our time is that we all appear to agree that the nation-state is the norm. [...] Whether the state be Marxist or capitalist, it makes no difference. The dominant ideology is that of sovereignty. (Anarchy and Christianity, 104–5.)
So I can very well say without hesitation that all those who have political power, even if they use it well have acquired it by demonic mediation and even if they are not conscious of it, they are worshippers of diabolos. (Si tu es le Fils de Dieu, 76)

Nicolas Berdyaev

It is beyond dispute that the state exercises very great power over human life and it always shows a tendency to go beyond the limits laid down for it. (Slavery and Freedom, 145)
There is absolute truth in anarchism and it is to be seen in its attitude to the sovereignty of the state and to every form of state absolutism. [...] The religious truth of anarchism consists in this, that power over man is bound up with sin and evil, that a state of perfection is a state where there is no power of man over man, that is to say, anarchy. The Kingdom of God is freedom and the absence of such power ... the Kingdom of God is anarchy. (Slavery and Freedom, 147–8)

[edit] Bible passages cited by Christian anarchists

  • My kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).
  • He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble (Luke 1:52).
  • We are to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).
  • To seek rule by man is to reject the rule of God (1 Samuel 8).
  • Christians struggle against governments, rulers, and spiritual wickedness (Ephesians 6:12).
  • Honest people are too busy making an honest living to accept political power, so only the corruptible will accept political power (Judges 9:7-15 The Parable of the Trees).
  • The devil offers all kingdoms to Jesus in return for worshipping him.(Luke 4:5-7).
  • So I saw all this, and applied my heart to every work that has been done under the sun; all the things wherein man has power over man to afflict him. (Ecclesiastes 8:9)
  • And Jesus called them to him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule (Gr. archo) over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you...." (Mark 10:42-43a)
  • Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world (Gr. Archos), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

[edit] List of key individuals

The following people may be considered key figures in the development of Christian anarchism. This does not mean that they were all Christian anarchists themselves.

Adin Ballou
Adin Ballou (1803–1890) was founder of the Hopedale Community in what is now Hopedale, Massachusetts, and a prominent 19th century exponent of pacifism, socialism and abolitionism. Through his long career as a Universalist (and then Unitarian) minister, he tirelessly sought social reform through his radical Christian and socialist views. Tolstoy was heavily influenced by his writings.
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was an American author, pacifist, nature lover, tax resister and individualist anarchist. He was an advocate of civil disobedience and a lifelong abolitionist. Though not commonly regarded as a Christian anarchist, his essay Civil Disobedience does include many of the Christian anarchist ideals.
William B. Greene
William B. Greene (1819–1878), an individualist anarchist based in the United States, was a Unitarian minister, and the originator of a Christian Mutualism, which he considered a new dispensation, beyond God–s covenant with Abraham. His 1850 Mutual Banking begins with a discussion (drawn from the work of Pierre Leroux) of the Christian rite of communion as a model for a society based in equality, and ends with a prophetic invocation of the new Mutualist dispensation. His better-known scheme for mutual banking, and his criticisms of usury should be understood in this specifically religious context. Unlike his contemporaries among the nonresistants, Greene was not a pacifist, and served as a Union Army colonel in the American Civil War.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881) in many respects can be considered to have believed in Christian anarchism/autonomy. His novel The Brothers Karamazov postulates that all men should be monks; that everyone is responsible for everyone else; and that belief in God can only be found through the practice of active love.
Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) wrote extensively on his anarchist principles, which he arrived at via his Christian faith, in his books The Kingdom of God is Within You, What I Believe (aka My Religion), The Law of Love and the Law of Violence, and Christianity and Patriotism which criticised government and the Church in general. He called for a society based on compassion, nonviolent principles and freedom. Tolstoy was a pacifist and a vegetarian. His vision for an equitable society was an anarchist version of Georgism, which he mentions specifically in his novel Resurrection.
Thomas J. Hagerty
Thomas J. Hagerty (c.1862–?) was a Catholic priest from New Mexico, USA, and one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Hagerty is credited with writing the IWW Preamble, assisting in the composition of the Industrial Union Manifesto and drawing up the first chart of industrial organization. He was ordained in 1892 but his formal association with the church ended when he was suspended by his archbishop for urging miners in Colorado to revolt during his tour of mining camps in 1903. Hagerty is not commonly regarded as a Christian anarchist in the Tolstoyan tradition but rather an anarcho-syndicalist. Christian anarchists like Dorothy Day and Ammon Hennacy have been members of the Industrial Workers of the World and found common cause with the axiom "an injury to one is an injury to all."
Nikolai Berdyaev
Nikolai Berdyaev (1874–1948), the Orthodox Christian philosopher has been called the philosopher of freedom and is known as a Christian existentialist. Known for writing "the Kingdom of God is anarchy" he believed that freedom ultimately comes from God, in direct opposition to anarchists such as Mikhail Bakunin, who saw God as the enslaver of humanity (symbolically; Bakunin was an atheist). Christian anarchists claim Man enslaves Man, not God.
Lonce Crenier
Lonce Crenier (1888–1963) first rejected religion, becoming an anarcho-communist when he moved to Paris from rural France in 1911. In 1913 he visited his sister in Portugal where he stayed for several years. During this period he suffered a debilitating and agonising illness. Receiving the attentions of a particularly caring nurse, he survived, despite the gloomy predictions of the doctors. Converting to Catholicism, he became a monk. He is particularly known for his concept of Precarity, and was influential on Dorothy Day.
Ammon Hennacy
Ammon Hennacy (1893–1970) wrote extensively on his work with the Catholic Workers, the IWW, and at the Joe Hill House of Hospitality. He was a practicing anarchist, draft dodger, vegetarian, and tax resister. He also tried to reduce his tax liability by taking up a lifestyle of simple living and bartering. His autobiography The Book of Ammon originally released as The Autobiography of a Catholic Anarchist , describes his work in nonviolent, anarchist, social action, and provides insight into the lives of Christian anarchists in the United States of the 20th century. His other book is One Man Revolution in America .
Dorothy Day
Dorothy Day (1897–1980) was a journalist turned social activist (she was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World) and devout member of the Roman Catholic Church. She became known for her social justice campaigns in defense of the poor, forsaken, hungry and homeless. Alongside Peter Maurin, she founded the Catholic Worker Movement in 1933, espousing nonviolence, and hospitality for the impoverished and downtrodden. Dorothy Day was declared Servant of God when a cause for sainthood was opened for her by Pope John Paul II. Among books she authored was her autobiography The Long Loneliness
Jacques Ellul
Jacques Ellul (1912–1994) was a French thinker, sociologist, theologian and Christian anarchist. He wrote several books against the "technological society", and some about Christianity and politics, like Anarchy and Christianity (1991) asserting that anarchism and Christianity are socially following the same goal.
Philip Berrigan
Philip Berrigan (1923–2002) was an internationally renowned peace activist and Roman Catholic priest. He and his brother Daniel Berrigan were on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for illegal nonviolent actions against war.
Ivan Illich
Ivan Illich (1926–2002) was a libertarian-socialist social thinker, with roots in the Catholic Church, who wrote critiques of technology, energy use and compulsory education. In 1961 Illich founded the Centro Intercultural de Documentacin (CIDOC) at Cuernavaca in Mexico, in order to "counterfoil" the Vatican's participation in the "modern development" of the so-called Third World. Illich's books Energy and Equity and Tools for Conviviality are considered classics for social ecologists interested in appropriate technology, while his book Deschooling Society is still revered by activists seeking alternatives to compulsory schooling. Ivan's view on Jesus as an anarchist is highlighted here.[21]
Vernard Eller
Vernard Eller (1927–2007) was a minister in the Church of the Brethren and author of Christian Anarchy: Jesus' Primacy Over the Powers (1987).[22]
Tripp York
Tripp York is a Mennonite theologian whose work centers specifically around the implications of an anarchistic Christianity.[23] His book The Purple Crown: The Politics of Martyrdom advocates for an anarchistic witness predicated on the martyrs. His book Living on Hope While Living in Babylon: The Christian Anarchists of the 20th Century details key Christian anarchists in the 20th century in relation to the political philosophy of anarchism as well as Martin Luther King, Jr's triple axis of evil (materialism, racism, and militarism).[24]

[edit] Criticism

Whether or not anarchism is compatible with the New Testament is a point of contention. Some hold that one cannot consistently be a Christian and anarchist simultaneously: these critics include Christians, anarchists, and those who reject both categories. Others criticize anarchism and Christianity by agreeing that they are one and the same thing. In his last book of philosophy, Der Antichrist, Friedrich Nietzsche discussed his opinion of the relationship between Christianity and anarchism.

"What is bad? ...all that proceeds from weakness, from envy, from revenge. -The anarchist and the Christian have the same ancestry..." (#59)
"There is a perfect likeness between Christian and anarchist: their object, their instinct, points only toward destruction...
"The Christian and the anarchist: both are decadents; both are incapable of any act that is not disintegrating, poisonous, degenerating, blood-sucking; both have an instinct of mortal hatred of everything that stands up, and is great, and has durability, and promises life a future..." (#60)[25]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Christoyannopoulos, Alexandre (2010) Christian Anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospel, pages 19 and 208
  2. ^ The review of reviews, Volume 9, 1894, p.306. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Skirda, Alexandre. Facing the Enemy: A History of Anarchist Organization from Proudhon to May 1968. AK Press, 2002, page 189
  4. ^ Gay, Kathlyn. Encyclopedia of Political Anarchy. Published by ABC-CLIO, 1999, Original from the University of Michigan. p. 104
  5. ^ Hinson, E. Glenn. The early church : origins to the dawn of the Middle Ages, (1996) pp 42–3
  6. ^ Chadwick, Henry. The early church , (1967)
  7. ^ Hennacy, Ammon (1970). "The Book of Ammon" (full-length book). Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  8. ^ Gay, Kathlyn. Encyclopedia of Political Anarchy. Published by ABC-CLIO, 1999 Original from the University of Michigan. p. 104
  9. ^ Rothbard, Murray. Individual Anrachism in the U.S.: Origins. Editor, Stringham, Edward. Anarchy and the Law. Transaction Publishers, 2007. p. 438
  10. ^ Merton, Thomas. "Wisdom of the Desert." Abbey of Gethsemani Inc. 1960. p.5
  11. ^ Th. I. Riginiotes "The holy anarchists" [1].
  12. ^ The Holy Anarchists (Video)
  13. ^ 'Graeber, David. "What is Consensus" Many Worlds Press, 2006. p. 4.
  14. ^ Christian Anarchy (Eller) 1
  15. ^ Ksemann, Ernst, Commentary on Romans, (1980)
  16. ^ - Passage Lookup: Hebrews 13:17
  17. ^
  18. ^ –Ammon Hennacy– in Gross, David M. (ed.) We Won–t Pay: A Tax Resistance Reader (2008) ISBN 1-4348-9825-3 pp. 385-393
  19. ^ Ellul, Jacques: Anarchism and Christianity, p.20
  20. ^ "'Thou shalt not kill' does not apply to murder of one's own kind only, but to all living beings; and this Commandment was inscribed in the human breast long before it was proclaimed from Sinai."– Leo Tolstoy
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ, trans. H.L. Mencken, (Tucson, See Sharp Press, 1999)

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

Related topics in the Connexions Subject Index

Alternatives  –  Anarchism  –  Anarchism Critiques  –  Anti-Marxism  –  Class Analysis  –  Class Conflict/Class Struggle  –  Emancipation  –  First International  –  Freedom  –  Left, The  –  Left History  –  Libertarian Politics  –  Libertarian Socialism  –  Libertarianism  –  Mark, Karl  –  Marxism  –  Marxism Overviews  –  Radical Political Theory  –  Revolution  –  Revolutionary Politics  –  Social Change  –  Socialism  –  State, The  –  Strategies for Social Change

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