Radical on the Bookshelf--My Piece in Geez Magazine

The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!

Not really, but I am in print!

I may have mentioned that I was putting together a bibliography of sorts for Geez Magazine's "Worship and Anarchy" issue. My piece isn't available online, so I'll post it here. But if you want a hard copy--and you really should, it's a great issue!--you can order one HERE.

These are books I'd recommend if you are interested in learning more about Christian anarchism. Any of them would be a great starting place if you're just looking into it, or a place to dig a bit deeper.

Let me know what you think. Have you read these? What would you add to the list?

The Kingdom of God is Within You (1894)
by Leo Tolstoy

This classic has influenced anarchists and nonviolent resisters from Ammon Hennacy to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., and is an enduring cornerstone of the anarchist canon.

*Available for free online – Google Books, Kindle

Anarchy and Christianity (1988)
by Jacques Ellul

A short, accessible argument for Christian anarchism, directed at both anarchist and Christian skeptics. Ellul challenges the involvement of the church in the politics of the nation-state and encourages the reader to imagine a more Christ-like alternative.

Also recommended: Violence and The Subversion of Christianity
Anarchism and Other Essays (1910)by Emma Goldman

Reading Goldman, a committed atheist who sometimes supported violence, is important for giving shape to an anarchistic worldview. Plus, she’s a formidable early anarcha-feminist you want to know about.

*Available for free online – Google Books, Kindle

The Long Loneliness (1952)by Dorothy Day

This autobiography gives us a glimpse into what a life shaped by Christian anarchism looks like. Day, who created the Catholic Worker anarchist newspaper and founded Hospitality Houses that fed and clothed the poor, had a passion for “making the world a place where people can be better human beings.”

The Politics of Jesus (1972)by John Howard Yoder

Yoder, an anabaptist theologian who has been influential for Christian anarchists, takes Jesus as a “model of radical political action.” He shows how the Jesus of Christendom hardly resembles the Jesus of the gospels. Truly following Jesus should change our social ethic to the countercultural ethic of the Beatitudes and Jubilee.

Living on Hope While Living in Babylon (2009)by Tripp York

In York’s analysis, the Christian anarchist politic is apocalyptic rather than apolitical. He shows how it has been lived out by well-known anarchists like Dorothy Day and Clarence Jordan. The tone is hopeful: York presents a Christian anarchist way of life as not only viable but even fruitful.

The Myth of a Christian Nation (2007)
by Gregory Boyd

Boyd tackles the creeping problem of Christian patriotism in the United States and challenges believers to rethink the way they engage in politics instead of buying into the evangelical myth of the religious right.

Resident Aliens (1989)
 by Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon

This book isn’t explicitly anarchist, but it challenges Christians to think critically about our cultural contexts and how to live as a colony of believers – in the world and yet not of the world.

Waging Nonviolent Struggle (2005) by Gene Sharp

Sharp is neither overtly anarchist nor Christian, but he offers a “social view of power” – that power comes from the people and is dependent on their cooperation. He advocates for nonviolence as an effective means for oppressed people to create change and lists 198 different methods of nonviolent action.

That Holy Anarchist (2012)
Mark Van Steenwyk

A quick read that covers the basics of Christian anarchism as well as its most common challenges. Van Steenwyk provides a very accessible and informative primer on the anarchistic leanings of Jesus.

Jesus For President (2008)
Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw

Designed in full colour with a DIY aesthetic, this book uses the stories of ancient Israel and the early church to frame the way Christians may think about government and rulers today.

Oppression and Liberty (1955)
by Simone Weil

Simone Weil was an anarchist-turned-Catholic mystic. A well-educated early-twentieth-century woman, she offers a unique, thorough and philosophical perspective on power and politics, and a particularly apt criticism of Marx.

Christian Anarchy (1987)
by Vernard Eller

In a scholarly yet informal style, Eller provides many “whys” of Christian anarchy, explaining how kingdom of God “arky” is so different from wordly “arkys” and therefore how Christians should think and live differently.

*Available for free online HERE
Christian Anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospel (2010) byAlexandre Christoyannopoulos

With accessible academic style, Christoyannopoulos presents an extensively researched and thorough study of Christian anarchism that includes its origins and history, prominent leaders and influencers, and biblical and theological supporting theories.