Friday, 24 May 2013

Freedom, Justice & Christian Counter-Culture (2013) by Michael C. Elliott

First published in 1990, Freedom, Justice & Christian Counter-Culture has recently been reprinted by Wipf and Stock. The author Michael Elliott (1938–2012) was a self-proclaimed Christian anarchist. Here is an excerpt from a page on his memorial website titled Why I am a Christian Anarchist:

Anarchism stresses non-authoritarian and non-coercive behaviours in contrast to the ‘high handed’ attitude of most contemporary regimes and institutions; anarchism offers us a positive view of humanity, human potential, and human development in contrast to the negative views which inhabit much traditional theology and social science; anarchism emphasises the importance of free choice, which is both a political and a theological issue, and suggests that society should function on the basis of voluntarism rather than compulsion; anarchism insists that the whole of life, especially our politics and our economics, should be based on ethical values such as justice, freedom and peace.

Working in the dereliction of South London in the 1960′s I first became a socialist, then in the 1970′s a Marxist. None of these political options in my view sat comfortably with the Gospel. Only in anarchism have I found an approach which it seems to me both emerges from and fulfills Christian principles.
That’s why I am a Christian Anarchist.