Naum's Reviews > Christian Anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospel

Christian Anarchism by Alexandre Christoyannopoulos
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's review
Aug 02, 2011

it was amazing
Read from June 29 to August 02, 2011 — I own a copy

A meticulous tour de force survey of Christian Anarchism -- extended from a doctoral thesis by the author, looks at veins of Christian Anarchist theology, from the early church to Tolstoy, Dorothy Day & Catholic Worker movement, anarcho-capitalists of, Jacques Ellul and sympathetic theologians like Walter Wink, John Howard Yoder, etc.…

Opening "Introduction" chapter begins by identifying the thinkers and lumping them into various buckets, noting the band of differences that exist in Christian anarchist thought -- on pacifism, private property, orthodoxy in Christian theology, etc.…

Chapter 1 lays out how the entire blueprint/foundation of Christian Anarchism is contained in Matthew 5-7, the sermon on the mount, which is a litmus test for a Christian Anarchist. While an evangelical Christians define themselves based on having a "personal relationship" with Jesus (these are my words here, not in the actual chapter), a Christian Anarchist is defined by taking Matthew 5-7 literally to heart -- swearing no oath to the state (or other human being), loving enemies, giving freely to brothers and sisters, etc.…

Chapter 2 looks at other teachings of Jesus and Paul, and briefly the Old Testament which is mostly confined to 1 Sam 8. And in the latter part of the chapter, some counterpoints to commonly voiced rebuttal to the non-violence espoused by Jesus.

Chapter 3 examines at post-Constantine church infidelity and idolatry in aligning with state over the truth of Jesus.

Chapter 4 goes into more detail, giving a Christian Anarchist exegesis of Romans 13. Also taxes, conscription and civil disobedience are explored.

Chapter 5 pronounces the Christian Anarchist "collective witness as the true church".

Chapter 6 traverses history of Christian Anarchist stream movements -- from times of pre-Constantine, to the middle ages, then modern groups.

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