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Alexandre Christoyannopoulos Christian anarchism: a political commentary on the gospel (abdridged)

Alexandre Christoyannopoulos

Christian anarchism: a political commentary on the gospel (abdridged)

ISBN: 9781 8454 0247 1

Imprint Academic, Exeter & Charlottesville VA, 2011, 275pp, £17.95

 ‘Anarchism’, to most people, conveys disorder and destruction, so how is it partnered with ‘Christian’?  Put somewhat simply, the Christian anarchist rationale is that authentic followers of Jesus would reject violence including all violence that is done by others to protect themselves: empires and nation states survive on violence and therefore should be rejected by Christians.

Christoyannopoulos mostly focuses on Christian anarchist thought since the mid-nineteenth century, when it emerged as an identifiable strand within broader anarchist thought.  Leo Tolstoy is one of those key earlier thinkers; in the following century there were, among others, Jacques Ellul, Vernard Eller, Michael Elliott, Dave Andrews, and people within the Catholic Worker Movement, which today continues to be one group that is living out of Christian anarchist principles.

This is an ‘abridged’ version in that the copious footnotes are basically references to locate the source material and not further comments or additional references as in the original thesis.  It is nevertheless a detailed volume, and a challenging read in more than one sense of the meaning.

Maureen CSF