Christian Anarchism

A Political Commentary on the Gospel

This monograph is a revised version of my doctoral thesis (which can be downloaded freely via EThOS here provided you register on the site). Click here to "look inside" the full (hardback) version. A French translation is being prepared.

Description (from the back cover):

Christian anarchism has been around for at least as long as “secular” anarchism. The existing literature cites Leo Tolstoy as its most famous (sometimes even as the only) proponent, but there are many others, such as Jacques Ellul, Vernard Eller, Dave Andrews or the people associated with the Catholic Worker movement. Both individually and collectively, these Christian anarchists offer a compelling critique of the state, the church and the economy based on numerous passages from the New Testament. Yet despite the relevance and growth of this literature, no generic study bringing together these different thinkers or reflecting on their contribution has been published to date, because such work involves meticulous searching, compiling and structuring of countless different texts and sources, not all of which are easily accessed. This book, however, provides precisely such a study, and thereby presents Christian anarchism to both the wider public and the wider academic community.

Table of contents (click here for a more detailed one):

  • Introduction - Christian "Anarchism"?

Part I: The Christian Anarchist Critique of the State

  • w Chapter 1 - The Sermon on the Mount: A Manifesto for Christian Anarchism [click here to dowload a copy, and see main publications page for German translation of parts of it by Sebastian Kalicha]
  • Chapter 2 - The Anarchism Implied in Jesus' Other Teachings and Example
  • Chapter 3 - The State's Wickedness and the Church's Infidelity

Part II: The Christian Anarchist Response

  • Chapter 4 - Responding to the State
  • Chapter 5 - Collective Witness as the True Church
  • Chapter 6 - Examples of Christian Anarchist Witness
  • Conclusion - The Prophetic Role of Christian Anarchism
  • Epilogue


  • By Anthony T Fiscella in Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies 2013.2, pp. 265-272.
  • By Laurens Otter in A Pinch of Salt (16 May 2013). See also my response on the same blog, as well as AdR's editorial comment.
  • By Daniel Duggan in Political Studies Review, volume 11, issue 2 (2013), pp. 231-232.
  • By Christopher Craig Brittain in Modern Believing, volume 54, issue 2 (2013), pp. 180-181.
  • By Katy Scrogin in Things Not Seen: Conversations about Culture and Faith, broadcast on 18 November 2012 [runs from 33:05 to 40:40].
  • By Ashley Beck, in The Pastoral Review, volume 8, issue 5 (2012), pp. 87-88.
  • By Paul Chambers in Anarchist Studies, volume 20, issue 1 (2012).
  • By Tom Grimwood in European Legacy, volume 17, issue 2 (March 2012), pp. 257-258.
  • By Richard Davis in Political Theology, volume 13, issue 4 (2012).
  • By Tripp York in The Ellul Forum, issue 48 (Fall 2011), pp. 21-22.
  • By Nathan Jun and Al Tucker in Ideas & Action (25 December 2011 and 27 February 2012).
  • By Revd John Pridmore in Church Times (4 November 2011). [Available here too.]
  • By Paul Simon in the Morning Star (5 July 2011).
  • By Jamie Pitts in the Marx & Philosophy Review of Books (9 October 2010).
  • By worker in (22 April 2010).
  • On Amazon by: Simon Cross, Adam Clark, Dave Andrews, Michael J. Wild, and Michael Strawser.
  • On The Bookbag by Iain Wear.
  • On Ciao by Soho_Black.
  • On Goodreads by Naum, Adam Clark (same as for Amazon) and John.
  • On various blogs: A Pinch of Salt, Simon Cross (same review as on Amazon), Anarchist Reverend, And the Words became Books.
  • “Dr Christoyannopoulos has produced a superb discussion of Christian anarchism from Tolstoy to the present day. He combines a wide scope and meticulous scholarship with impressive analytical ability. He also writes clearly and well – not always the case in this area. This book is required reading for those interested in alternative conceptions of politics.” - Professor David McLellan, author of Karl Marx: A Biography.
  • “Alexandre Christoyannopoulos’s engaging and intelligent study of Christian anarchism directly confronts the perception that these two traditions of thought are incompatible. At the heart of this scholarly discussion is the work of Tolstoy but the analysis is enriched by an examination of a much wider range of writers and movements. Anyone interested in the vital issues of non-violence, the limits of political obligation, resistance, compassion and justice will find this book enormously illuminating.” - Dr Ruth Kinna, editor of Anarchist Studies.

Publication details:

Abridged paperback:

  • Publisher: Imprint Academic
  • Place of publication: Exeter
  • Year of publication: 2011 (March)
  • Pages: 290
  • ISBN: 978-1845402471


  • Publisher: Imprint Academic
  • Place of publication: Exeter
  • Year of publication: 2010 (January)
  • Pages: 350
  • ISBN: 978-1845401931

Where to buy it (for instance):

For the (cheaper) abridged/paperback version (with the same main text but much lighter footnotes):

  • Directly from the publisher (worth checking because often cheaper): here.
  • From the Book Depository: here.
  • Via Google Books: here.

For the (more expensive) hardback version (with the complete footnotes):

  • Directly from the publisher: here.
  • Via Google Books: here.