{Anarchie et christianisme. English] Anarchy and Christianity / Jacques Ellul; translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. p. cm. Translation of; Anarchie et christianisme. Jacques Ellul often made brief comments, in his fifty or so books, affirming a kind of anarchism as the Anarchy and Christianity is his extended essay on the. Jacques Ellul blends politics, theology, history, and exposition in this analysis of the relationship between political anarchy and biblical faith. On the one hand.

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It is taken for granted that anarchists are hostile to all re- ligions and Christianity is classified as such. The dominant ideology is that of sovereignty.

Theologians who were under the influence of a monarchy whether that of Rome or that of the 16th and 17th centuries might have insisted on om- nipotence by way of imitation, but they did so by mistake. He looks at the Bible as the source of anarchy in the sense of xnarchy, not disorderworking through the Old Testament history, Jesus’ ministry, and finally the early church’s view of power as reflected in the New Testament writings.

It is in these cir- cumstances that I regard anarchy as the only serious chal- lenge, as the only means of achieving awareness, as the first active step. As it was preached by the church at this period, this is precisely what Christianity was.

Ellul here defines anarchy as the nonviolent repudiation of authority. But what about conversion and faith?

The Questions of Jesus: What I want to do, though, is to use this review as a jumping off point to explore some of the areas where I disagree with some of the main thinkers of Christian anarchism.


For how long, then, are we to retain the structures and the necessary authorities, hoping that they will adopt policies that are just and christiwnity and firm enough to direct us in the right path? Jacques Ellul blends politics, theology, history, and exposition in this analysis of the relationship between political anarchy and biblical faith.

Book Review: Anarchy and Christianity by Jacques Ellul

Jacues precepts, he says, have an appearance of wisdom but they are merely human commandments and not the commandments of God. The ac- curacy of this account is irrelevant for my purpose.

We already have experience of how this theory works out. And don’t bother reading the first half. The other reaction, that of the devout, was one of withdrawal from this horrible situation. Create another chritsianity on another foundation. Of course, I recognize he’s trying to write a brief summary, and so he has to simplify, but there are two christianoty kinds of anc. It is for freedom that we are freed. Finally, Ellul offers a sometimes fresh reading of some texts from the Hebrew Bible and from the New Testament.

Jesus does not say to the devil: This “trilogy” of books reflects Ellul’s desire to alert readers to the dangers of technological determinism and thereby help them transcend it. In no way, then, can Christian truth be imposed by violence, war, etc.

We have to add two further factors. His hostility to Islam is disconcerting, as he presents himself as someone learned in I had high hopes for this book. My statement to this effect has no connection with the Christian idea of sin. Undoubtedly, the christiianity of the great 19th-century anarchists, as well as those of Nietzsche, were directed against the images that obtained in their period.

He demonstrates, however briefly, how the early church followed this example until it was corrupted by alliances with those powers. In the Bible there is a God who is with us, who accompanies us in our ventures.


As Paul says, it is for liberty that we are freed, and as James says, the perfect law is that of liberty. Here again we find the same strange phenomenon as before.

Creation has its own anaarchy of organization and functioning. Some Christian anarchists resist taxes in the belief that their government is engaged in immoral, unethical or destructive activities such as warand paying taxes inevitably funds these activities, whilst others submit to taxation.

Full text of “Jacques Ellul: Anarchy & Christianity”

Caesar was the sole proprietor. There are five main sayings. I am again amazed that we can treat these commandments as though they were the equiv- alent of the articles in a human code, deriving from them obligations and duties.

It is not a matter of justifying Chris- tianity. Although I have some disagreements not related to the core of his essayI recommend it, indeed. Foremost, I think I disliked his attempt to reconcile anarchy and Christianity from almost legalist interpretations of Biblical passages.

Anarchy and Christianity

The deposition did not succeed, but we have here an explanation of the hostility to all political power that prevailed in the 1 st century B. A single fact shows how impossible is that theory.

To become a human being, yes, but a politician, never. Thus Jesus tells the rich young ruler to sell all his goods, to give to the poor, and to follow him.