Christian Anarchism

Educational level: this is a tertiary (university) resource.
Completion status: this resource is just getting off the ground. Please feel welcome to help!

Course IntroductionEdit

This course (in rudimentary stub-form at this time) is designed to be a basic introduction to Christian Anarchism. It would be appropriate for clergy, seminarians, college students and activists.

Christian anarchism is a movement in political theology that claims Christianity is fundamentally anarchistic. It is grounded in the belief that there is only one source of authority to which Christians are ultimately answerable, the authority of God as embodied in the teachings of Jesus, and thus rejects the idea that human governments have ultimate authority over human societies. Christian anarchists denounce the state as they claim it is violent, deceitful and, when glorified, idolatrous. Christian anarchists hold that the proper relationship between God and people is the "Reign of God" in which human relationships would be characterized by divided authority, servant leadership, and universal compassion rather than the hierarchical, authoritarian structures normally attributed to religion.

More than any other Bible source, the Sermon on the Mount is used as the basis for Christian anarchism. Most Christian anarchists are pacifists and reject the use of violence, such as war. Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You is often regarded as a key text for modern Christian anarchism.[1]

Course StructureEdit

Section 1: IntroductionEdit

Definitions: what is Anarchism? What is Christianity? What is Christian Anarchism?Edit

Anarchism which aligns itself with socially libertarian ideals in the Bible, and the belief in the abolition of the state, which includes all unnecessary hierarchies.

Political theory and taxonomyEdit

Section 2: Anarchism in Religious HistoryEdit

Anarchism in The Jewish TraditionEdit

Anarchism in Jesus and The Sermon on the MountEdit

Anarchism in The Early ChurchEdit

Anarchism in the context of ChristendomEdit

Woodcut from a Diggers document by William Everard.

Anarchism in the context of the ReformationEdit

Leo TolstoyEdit

Leo Tolstoy wrote extensively about Christian pacifism and anarchism.

Liberation TheologyEdit

The New Monastic MovementEdit

Interfaith connectionsEdit

Section 3: Practical Application/OrthopraxyEdit

Anarchism and EthicsEdit

Anarchism and the churchEdit

Religious vs. Non-Religious AnarchismEdit

More informationEdit


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See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. Wikipedia: Christian anarchism