Monday 16 June 2014

Reading about Christian anarchism

I'm writing this blog post in response to a tweet that reads, "I've been thinking about Christian anarchism what would you suggest I read? Something theological with good praxis". Sometimes the answer is longer than a tweet allows! @NormalSteve

If it's reading about Christian anarchism you're after, I'd recommend starting somewhere else. Start by reading about anarchism and then do your theological thinking from there. Then do some reading on Christian anarchism. 
Start with the classics: Colin Ward's "Anarchy in Action" (which I can't find on but his more up to date "Talking Anarchy" is likely to be great. But you can get even more classic than that with Emma Goldman's "Anarchy and other Essays" and the essential Peter Kropotkin's "Mutual Aid". Oh yes: and William Morris! 
The original Christian anarchist writer would be Leo Tolstoi; his acerbic "What I Believe" and "The Kingdom of God is Within You" are the foundations of much Christian anarchist thought. 
Online much of the foundational stuff for Christian anarchism is available form Jacques Ellul and Vernard Eller
If you want something that gives you an incredibly in depth overview of Christian anarchist thought you can't go wrong with Alexandre Christoyannopoulos's "Christian Anarchism" and if you want something that's both practical and accessible you've got Dave Andrews' "Christi-anarchy" or "Not Religion, But Love". 
And, of course, anything by Dorothy Day but I would warmly recommend her inspiring biography, "The Long Loneliness" which tells the story of a pioneering Catholic Anarchist with honesty that leaves you utterly humbled. 
If you've read this far, I'm sure you won't mind me recommending my own "Seeking Justice: The Radical Compassion of Jesus" which takes principles of Christian anarchist theory, without the language of anarchism, and translates them into genuine experiments in radical compassion.