Saturday, March 09, 2013

Christian Anarchy Articulated by John Jensen

I have had an interest in the relationship between Christianity and anarchy for quite some time. In 2002, I came upon Against Ethics: Contributions to a Poetics of Obligation with Constant Reference to Deconstruction (Studies in Continental Thought) by John D. Caputo in which he looked at theology through a deconstructionist lens.  Amidst those pages, he effectively upholds a "very responsible anarchy" (p. 1) Following up with this, I bought a book by Dave Andrews entitled, Christi-Anarchy: Discovering a Radical Spirituality of Compassion from which I learned more about the relationship. From there, in about 2004 I stumbled upon a site called Jesus Radicals. The site looked different than it does now, and as I recall it was mainly forums. As I revisited them in the last couple of years, I was reminded of a book by Jacques Ellul, Anarchy and Christianity, in which Ellul explores the biblical foundation for entwining the two.

This is the sum of my limited background exploring the natural merger of the two ideologies. This merger, though, has become important enough for me to dedicate some space in my own upcoming book, Drinking from an Empty Glass: Living from a Meaningless Spirituality, to argue that we need to be pursuing an anarchist attitude toward structure and power as we explore future visions for Christianity.

As there are different perspectives to everything, I want to offer another perspective on what it means to be a Christian anarchist by someone who is far better at walking that path than I. In December of 2012, the Whiskey Preacher of Outlaw Theology hosted a video interview with John Jensen. This is a man who is really in the thick of things. I hope you find his story as intriguing as I did.

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