Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Christian anarchism

Christian anarchism is any of several traditions which combine anarchism with Christianity. Christian anarchists believe that freedom is justified spiritually through the teachings of Jesus. This has caused them to be critical of government and Church authority. Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You is a key text in modern Christian anarchism.

The Life and Teaching of Jesus

More than any other text, the four Gospels provide the basis for Christian anarchism. Dorothy Day, Ammon Hennacy, Leo Tolstoy and others constantly refer back to the words of Jesus in their social and political texts. For example, the title "The Kingdom of God is Within You" is a direct quote of Jesus from Luke 17:21. Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement particularly favored the Works of Mercy (Matthew 25:31–46), which were a recurring theme in both their writing and art.

Many Christian anarchists say that Jesus opposed the use of government power, even for supposedly good purposes like welfare point to Luke 22:25, which says:
25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that.


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