- Anarchism – A political philosophy
that rejects compulsory government and the institutions of the state, and
believes that all forms of rulership should be abolished.
- Christian Anarchism combines this
political viewpoint with the teachings of the Bible, and provides its own
perspective and interpretation on the Bible, the life of Jesus, and Church
on the Life of Jesus
was an anarchist
his life he responded to the hierarchy and exclusivity of the Jewish
establishment as well as the oppression of the Roman “state” or empire.
was a pacifist
imagined a Messiah who would lead a sort of revolution to free the Jews
from their oppressors. Zealots
wanted to rebel violently against Roman rule.
however, rejected violence and argued for a peaceful form of rebellion
on an individual and spiritual level
associated with the poor, weak, simple workers, women, social outcasts,
on the early Church
early Christian church was an egalitarian community that existed without
much structure or hierarchy
- The Constantinian Shift
reign of Constantine and his association with Christianity marked a
fundamental shift in the way the Christian church was organized. It changed Christianity from a grass
roots, egalitarian, communal association to an arm of the state.
view this as an unholy alliance that resulted in the
over-institutionalization of the Church.
Religion gradually merged with the will of the ruling elite to the
detriment of the basic ideas of Christianity.
Kingdom of God is Within You” written by Leo Tolstoy, 1894
of the foundational texts of modern Anarcho-Christianity. In this book Tolstoy called for a
society based on Christian love, Christian nonviolence, and freedom,
rather than the rule of governing bodies.
is the one and only authority to which they can submit, and that
submission to the will of the state an affront to God.
pacifism – philosophy of non-violence in both one’s personal life and
will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears
into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor
will they train for war anymore. — Isaiah 2:4
anti-consumerist - imitation of the life of Christ who lived, worked,
and preached amongst the poor.
communal living – in imitation of Anarcho-Christian views of the early
- The Catholic Worker
the largest network of Christian anarchism in the United States is found
in The Catholic Worker Movement.
in the 1930’s by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, it is a movement dedicated
to nonviolence and simple living.
are almost 200 Catholic worker houses of hospitality in the US, and some
more internationally. Each of
these houses is inhabited by a population of “Catholic workers” who open
it to the homeless or anyone who would want to stay there.
American pacifist, Christian anarchist, vegetarian, social activist,
member of the Catholic Worker Movement and a Wobbly (member of the IWW),
and was known for establishing the "Joe Hill House of
Hospitality" in Salt Lake City, Utah and never paying taxes. One of the most famous figures in the
Catholic Worker/ Anarcho-Christian community.
“The Kingdom of God is Within You”