07 October 2009

Book: "Religious Anarchism: New Perspectives"

Alexandre J.M.E. Christoyannopoulos recently published an edited volume on "Religious Anarchism: New Perspectives" with Cambridge Scholars Publishing (August 2009):


On that site a link is provided to a sample PDF including table of contents. Already the first chapter, by Richard Fitch (Birkbeck), mentions political theology repeatedly.

Publisher's description: "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: [1] early Christian anarchist 'pioneers', including Pelagius, Coppe, Hungarian Nazarenes, and Dutch Christian anarchists; [2] Christian anarchist reflections on specific topics such as Kierkegaardian indifference, Romans 13, Dalit religious practice, and resistance to race and nation; [3] 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."

The editor, Alexandre Christoyannopoulos (University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University), last year contributed a chapter on Leo Tolstoy's Christian anarchism to my own book, "Anti-Democratic Thought" (Imprint Academic, 2008). His other publications include a chapter in the present volume as well as peer-reviewed articles in Anarchist Studies, The Heythrop Journal, and Politics and Religion.

"Bringing together the work of international writers, both new and established scholars and practitioners, this book fills an important gap in the existing literature. [...] 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. [...] [T]he 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." – Ruth Kinna (Loughborough University)

"[I]t presents a wide range of little known and unexpected sources, inspiring a fresh look at contemporary approaches to change. [...] Each article explores new issues in areas as diverse as Pelagian studies, Hungarian history and Islamic political theology." – Ronald Creagh (Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier)

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