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Religious Anarchism (inbunden)

Religious Anarchism

New Perspectives

Inbunden Engelska, 2009-07-15
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Both religion and anarchism have been increasingly politically active of late. This edited volume presents twelve chapters of fresh scholarship on diverse facets of the area where they meet: religious anarchism. The book is structured along three themes: * early Christian anarchist "pioneers," including Pelagius, Coppe, Hungarian Nazarenes, and Dutch Christian anarchists; * Christian anarchist reflections on specific topics such as Kierkegaardian indifference, Romans 13, Dalit religious practice, and resistance to race and nation;* religious anarchism in other traditions, ranging from Wu Nengzi's Daoism and Rexroth's Zen Buddhism to various currents of Islam, including an original Anarca-Islamic "clinic." This unique book therefore furthers scholarship on anarchism, on millenarian and revolutionary thinkers and movements, and on religion and politics. It is also of value to members of the wider public interested in radical politics and in the political implications of religion. And of course, it is relevant to those interested in any of the specific themes and thinkers focused on within individual chapters. In short, this book presents a range of innovative perspectives on a web of topics that, while held together by the common thread of religious anarchism, also speaks to numerous broader themes which have been increasingly prominent in the twenty-first century.
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"I am delighted to have been invited to write a letter of recommendation for Alexandre Christoyannopoulos' edited collection Religious Anarchism: New Perspectives? Bringing together the work of international writers, both new and established scholars and practitioners, this book fills an important gap in the existing literature. Some anarchists will be familiar with the work of Leo Tolstoy and the concept of Christian anarchism, with which Tolstoy is often associated, but few will have probed this relationship or considered more broadly anarchism's relationship to religion. In ranging beyond this more familiar territory to consider anarchism's links to Buddhist, Daoist and Muslim thought Dr. Christoyannopoulos's book genuinely breaks new ground.The book has a number of strengths. One is that it avoids strong preconceptions: whilst the authors challenge those who view anarchism as a necessarily secular ideology, they do not attempt to delimit anarchism's relationship to religion. Indeed, in considering the possibilities of this relationship and the permeability of its boundaries, the authors encourage readers to reconsider their own preconceptions about both anarchism and religion and offer some new reflections on important perennial problems. Another important strength is that the authors work in variety of disciplinary fields and are thus able to bring insights from history, philosophy and political theory as well as anarchist studies, to bear on the subject. Together the essays collected here provide an outline history of some of the leading currents of religious anarchist thought and develop fresh perspectives on issues central to anarchism including resistance, struggle and counter-cultural experimentation; political detachment, ethnocentrism and community-building. In addition, by testing the intersections of anarchist and religious thought, the authors examine a range of ethical questions about the legitimate boundaries of the state and the limits of authority, the duty of obedience and the primacy of conscience in political action. In summary, this is a bold and important collection which many readers will find provocative and it deserves to get a wide readership."- Ruth Kinna, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Loughborough University; editor of Anarchist Studies"This work is a striking and highly original study of connections between anarchism and religion. The book springs from the same spirit that inspired Norman Cohn's ground breaking work, The Pursuit of the Millennium: it presents a wide range of little known and unexpected sources, inspiring a fresh look at contemporary approaches to change. Each of the collected essays expands on some particular paradigm, which is proper to the specific fields of the authors, some of whom are widely recognized scholars in their discipline. The approaches are varied, being rooted in anarchist thought, theology or philosophy. Each article explores new issues in areas as diverse as Pelagian studies, Hungarian history and Islamic political theology. This collection will be of interest to activists, historians, theologians, philosophers, political scientists, sociologists, students of rhetoric and literature, and those who wish to give serious consideration to their religious beliefs. In sum, this thought-provoking book calls for a wide audience and confronts some of the burning questions of our time."- Ronald Creagh

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Dr Alexandre Christoyannopoulos is Associate/Sessional Lecturer at the University of Kent and at Canterbury Christ Church University. His publications include articles in Anarchist Studies, The Heythrop Journal and Politics and Religion, and book chapters in Anti-Democratic Thought and New Perspectives on Anarchism. He is due to publish a book titled Christian Anarchism in 2010.