Christian Anarchist Link Roundup

Questions come in to the Center from time to time about whether or not Christianity and anarchism are compatible. A great many anarchists are also atheists and consider that religious viewpoint the natural complement to their political views. However, anarchists can and do have a wide variety of religious views other than atheism.

There is a thriving Christian Anarchist tradition dating back to at least Leo Tolstoy and his work The Kingdom of God is Within You. That tradition continues today with grassroots organizations like Jesus Radicals and learned scholars like Mennonite theologian Tripp York. The Catholic Worker Movement founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in 1933 remains popular.

With regard to market anarchism specifically, perhaps the most oft-cited explanation of a Christian approach to it is James Redford’s Jesus is an Anarchist. Also very popular are Joseph Sobran’s Catholic and culturally conservative pieces The Reluctant Anarchist and The State and Heresy. In the latter piece, in particular, Sobran very ably responds to Catholic critics of anarchism, who typically base their objections on Romans chapter 13, widely interpreted as a Biblical demand for complete submission to taxation. Sobran answers the critics well. Also notable for those responding to Romans 13 based religious critcism is the Romans 13 home page from the Christian anarchist web site Vine and Fig Tree.

Anarchists can be Mormons. We can be Catholics. We can be Quakers. If you’re a Baptist, anarchism runs deep in the history of your faith. Anarchists can be Jewish. We can be Muslim. We can be Buddhist, Taoist or Neo-Pagan.

Anarchists can have any opinion about God. We just agree that the State isn’t God.


14 thoughts on “Christian Anarchist Link Roundup

  1. Although Jacques Ellul was somewhat in the Calvinist/Reformed theological/ecclesial tradition, there also today a number of confessionally Presbyterian and Reformed believers who are (Rothbardian-type) anarchists. As for me, I was a sort of minarchist who converted to anarchism in 2008. My philosophical orientation is in the line of Herman Dooyeweerd, which holds great potential for Calvinistic/Reformational anarchist theory.

    I'll keep C4SS posted on developments.


  2. Wonderful site you have here! Glad to discover it. (I backtracked your link to my blog.) I'm also happy to see anarchists in so many different religions.

    You may already know this but I'll mention it anyway, as market anarchists may be interested. I made an anarchist silver bartering currency coin for use by anyone who wants it. See this following blog posts for pictures and details on it:

    Introducing a new bartering currency–the first coin: 1/2 Troy oz pure silver .999 fine

    Bartering Currency Pictures


  3. Here is an important essay On the General Relation of Religion, Metaphysics, and [Political] Science

    All theory is directed by some kind of religious belief even when the relation between such belief and the theory isn't conscious or when it is claimed that some given theory is religiously neutral or non-religious in character.

    Emotional hostility to religious groups and their teaching aside, this is a philosophical issue that cannot be side stepped with dismissive hand waving.


  4. "God isn't God either."

    That doesn't make any sense.

    "A church is still a tyranny of lies."

    I kind of agree, except 1) theism doesn't necessarily require a church and 2) anything can be a "tyranny of lies." Calling something something a lie first requires that you know the truth, and in the realm of epistemology and metaphysics, the truth isn't all that easy to come by. All ideologies have the potential of tyranny including libertarianism and most forms of anarchism.


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