Anarchy and Christianity

Front Cover
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1991 - Political Science - 109 pages
21 Reviews
Jacques Ellul blends politics, theology, history, and exposition in this analysis of the relationship between political anarchy and biblical faith. On the one hand, suggests Ellul, anarchists need to understand that much of their criticism of Christianity applies only to the form of religion that developed, not to biblical faith. Christians, on the other hand, need to look at the biblical texts and not reject anarchy as a political option, for it seems closest to biblical thinking. Ellul here defines anarchy as the nonviolent repudiation of authority. He looks at the Bible as the source of anarchy (in the sense of nondomination, not disorder), working through the Old Testament history, Jesus' ministry, and finally the early church's view of power as reflected in the New Testament writings."With the verve and the gift of trenchant simplification to which we have been accustomed, Ellul lays bare the fallacy that Christianity should normally be the ally of civil authority." - John Howard Yoder
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
6
4 stars
5
3 stars
9
2 stars
1
1 star
0

Review: Anarchy and Christianity

User Review  - Timothy Lindhagen-våge - Goodreads

Jacques Ellul started the book by saying in its introduction that Anarchy is an impossibility. My reaction was a variation of shipwrecked emotions, however, upon finalizing the book, Ellul marinated ... Read full review

Review: Anarchy and Christianity

User Review  - Ed - Goodreads

One of Ellul's last books, and an important anti-dote to the idea of God and Country as sacrosanct concept. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Anarchy from a Christian Standpoint
11
The Bible as the Source of Anarchy
45
Appendixes
86
Conclusion
103
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1991)

Jacques Ellul, historian, theologian, and sociologist, is one of the foremost and widely known contemporary critics of modern technological society. Born in Bordeaux, France, Ellul received a doctorate in the history of law and social science in 1936 from the University of Bordeaux. In 1947 he was appointed professor of social history at the University of Bordeaux, remaining there until his retirement in 1980. Although influenced strongly by his early reading of the Bible Marx, Ellul has been unable to synthesize Marxist doctrine with Christianity. These readings and experiences have influenced his later philosophy and writing. Ellul has taught and written extensively in his areas of specialization - Roman law, the history and sociology of institutions, Marxism, propaganda, and technique in society. He also served in the French Resistance during World War II, worked as a lay pastor, and has been active with various theological organizations, including the World Council of Churches. In addition, Ellul has been active in the environmental movement and has worked to prevent juvenile delinquency and violence. Since 1969, he has been editor of Foi et Vie (Faith and Life). Although retired as a teacher, Ellul has continued writing. One of his writing projects is an autobiography to be published after his death. Ellul has provided a sociopolitical as well as a theological analysis of contemporary society in more than 40 books and 800 articles. The Technological Society (1954) established Ellul as a social critic. The book has had a major impact on the collective consciousness of a society just beginning to recognize the central role and force of technology. Here Ellul develops the notion of "technique," a concept much broader than technology: "Technique is the totality of methods rationally arrived at." In Ellul's view, technology in this sense tends to become all-encompassing. His subsequent books, especially The Political Illusion (1965) and Propaganda (1962), further develop and refine elements of this central theme. This "trilogy" of books reflects Ellul's desire to alert readers to the dangers of technological determinism and thereby help them transcend it. Because of a dialectical approach separating his sociopolitical and theological studies, Ellul has often been criticized as overly pessimistic in his sociologically based writings. His theological works, however, provide a more positive perspective and counterpoint to his sociological work. Most notable are The Politics of God and the Politics of Man (1966), The Meaning of the City (1970), and especially The Ethics of Freedom (1973). The main body of Ellul's sociopolitical critique of technical society is reflected by The Technological Society, The Political Illusion, Propaganda, and The Technological System. Among his other works are Autopsy of Revolution (1969), which questions what kind of revolution is realistically possible, The Humiliation of the Word (1981), which expands upon the concept of "human techniques", and The Technological Bluff (1990), which discusses the state of contemporary society, especially in regard to such technologies as computers and genetic engineering and the progressive "discourse" that surrounds their societal incorporation.

Bibliographic information