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Theorising Christian Anarchism A Political Commentary on the Gospel

Christoyannopoulos, Alexandre J.M.E. (2008) Theorising Christian Anarchism A Political Commentary on the Gospel. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86397) (KAR id:86397)

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This thesis argues that there is a tradition in political theology and in political theory that deserves to be called "Christian anarchism." The various thinkers that contribute to this tradition have never before been considered to be part of a theoretical movement or tradition, and the originality of this thesis is to weave these thinkers together and present a generic theory of Christian anarchism. . Taken together, thinkers like Tolstoy, Ellul, Elliott and Andrews put forward a comprehensive exegesis of Jesus' teaching and example as implying a critique of the state and a vision of a stateless society. Based on this understanding of the Gospel, they accuse both the state and the church of contradicting, betraying and corrupting the essence of Christianity. Some Christian anarchists - Eller in particular - even see Romans 13 and the "render unto Caesar" passage as not discrediting but indeed confirming their interpretation, and although more activist Christian anarchists sometimes disagree on the potential role of civil disobedience, they do all stress that what matters above all is obedience to God Moreover, they all call for the "true" church to lead the Christian anarchist revolution by example, despite the very demanding sacrifices which this involves. They point to numerous examples of similar witness ever since the early church, and themselves strive to emulate such examples in their own lives - the Catholic Worker movement being perhaps the most notable example in this regard Thus, Christian anarchist thinkers' critique of the current order and appeal to follow God's radical commandments echoes the voices of the prophets of old, calling society to return to God's covenant. By weaving their scattered voices together - by theorising Christian anarchism - this thesis provides a political commentary on the Gospel which contributes as much to political theory as it does to political theology.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86397
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:56 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2022 14:52 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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