Christian socialism

Christian socialism

Overview
Christian socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left
Christian left
The Christian left is a term originating in the United States, used to describe a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embraces social justice....

 whose politics are both Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 and socialist and who see these two philosophies as being interrelated. This category can include Liberation theology
Liberation theology
Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

 and the doctrine of the social gospel
Social Gospel
The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the early 20th century United States and Canada...

. The term "Christian Socialism" is used in this sense by organizations such as the Christian Socialist Movement (CSM).

The term also pertains to such earlier figures as the nineteenth century writers Frederick Denison Maurice (The Kingdom of Christ, 1838), Charles Kingsley
Charles Kingsley
Charles Kingsley was an English priest of the Church of England, university professor, historian and novelist, particularly associated with the West Country and northeast Hampshire.-Life and character:...

 (The Water-Babies
The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby
The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby is a children's novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley. Written in 1862–1863 as a serial for Macmillan's Magazine, it was first published in its entirety in 1863...

, 1863), Thomas Hughes
Thomas Hughes
Thomas Hughes was an English lawyer and author. He is most famous for his novel Tom Brown's Schooldays , a semi-autobiographical work set at Rugby School, which Hughes had attended. It had a lesser-known sequel, Tom Brown at Oxford .- Biography :Hughes was the second son of John Hughes, editor of...

 (Tom Brown's Schooldays
Tom Brown's Schooldays
Tom Brown's Schooldays is a novel by Thomas Hughes. The story is set at Rugby School, a public school for boys, in the 1830s; Hughes attended Rugby School from 1834 to 1842...

, 1857), Frederick James Furnivall
Frederick James Furnivall
Frederick James Furnivall , one of the co-creators of the Oxford English Dictionary , was an English philologist...

 (co-creator of the Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

), Adin Ballou
Adin Ballou
Adin Ballou was an American prominent proponent of pacifism, socialism and abolitionism, and the founder of the Hopedale Community...

 (Practical Christian Socialism, 1854), and Francis Bellamy
Francis Bellamy
Francis Julius Bellamy was an author, editor, and Baptist minister born in Mount Morris, New York. He attended Rome Free Academy in Rome, New York, the University of Rochester and the Rochester Theological Seminary . He was an American Baptist minister and Christian Socialist who wrote the...

 (a Baptist minister and the author of the United States' Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of loyalty to the federal flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942...

).

In Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 Britain, the art critic John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

 in his later life expounded theories about social justice in Unto This Last
Unto This Last
Unto This Last is an essay on economy by John Ruskin, first published in December 1860 in the monthly journal Cornhill Magazine in four articles. Ruskin says himself that these articles were "very violently criticized", forcing the publisher to stop the publication after four months. Subscribers...

(1860).
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Encyclopedia
Christian socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left
Christian left
The Christian left is a term originating in the United States, used to describe a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embraces social justice....

 whose politics are both Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 and socialist and who see these two philosophies as being interrelated. This category can include Liberation theology
Liberation theology
Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

 and the doctrine of the social gospel
Social Gospel
The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the early 20th century United States and Canada...

. The term "Christian Socialism" is used in this sense by organizations such as the Christian Socialist Movement (CSM).

The term also pertains to such earlier figures as the nineteenth century writers Frederick Denison Maurice (The Kingdom of Christ, 1838), Charles Kingsley
Charles Kingsley
Charles Kingsley was an English priest of the Church of England, university professor, historian and novelist, particularly associated with the West Country and northeast Hampshire.-Life and character:...

 (The Water-Babies
The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby
The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby is a children's novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley. Written in 1862–1863 as a serial for Macmillan's Magazine, it was first published in its entirety in 1863...

, 1863), Thomas Hughes
Thomas Hughes
Thomas Hughes was an English lawyer and author. He is most famous for his novel Tom Brown's Schooldays , a semi-autobiographical work set at Rugby School, which Hughes had attended. It had a lesser-known sequel, Tom Brown at Oxford .- Biography :Hughes was the second son of John Hughes, editor of...

 (Tom Brown's Schooldays
Tom Brown's Schooldays
Tom Brown's Schooldays is a novel by Thomas Hughes. The story is set at Rugby School, a public school for boys, in the 1830s; Hughes attended Rugby School from 1834 to 1842...

, 1857), Frederick James Furnivall
Frederick James Furnivall
Frederick James Furnivall , one of the co-creators of the Oxford English Dictionary , was an English philologist...

 (co-creator of the Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

), Adin Ballou
Adin Ballou
Adin Ballou was an American prominent proponent of pacifism, socialism and abolitionism, and the founder of the Hopedale Community...

 (Practical Christian Socialism, 1854), and Francis Bellamy
Francis Bellamy
Francis Julius Bellamy was an author, editor, and Baptist minister born in Mount Morris, New York. He attended Rome Free Academy in Rome, New York, the University of Rochester and the Rochester Theological Seminary . He was an American Baptist minister and Christian Socialist who wrote the...

 (a Baptist minister and the author of the United States' Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of loyalty to the federal flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942...

).

History


In Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 Britain, the art critic John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

 in his later life expounded theories about social justice in Unto This Last
Unto This Last
Unto This Last is an essay on economy by John Ruskin, first published in December 1860 in the monthly journal Cornhill Magazine in four articles. Ruskin says himself that these articles were "very violently criticized", forcing the publisher to stop the publication after four months. Subscribers...

(1860). The painters of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti...

 were influenced and sponsored by Ruskin. The artist William Morris
William Morris
William Morris 24 March 18343 October 1896 was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement...

 was a leader of the Socialist League
Socialist League
Socialist League may refer to one of several organisations:*Socialist League *Socialist League *Socialist League *Socialist League *Socialist League *Socialist League...

 founded in December 1884. The Fabian Society
Fabian Society
The Fabian Society is a British socialist movement, whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism via gradualist and reformist, rather than revolutionary, means. It is best known for its initial ground-breaking work beginning late in the 19th century and continuing up to World...

 was founded in the same year; Sydney and Beatrice Webb
Beatrice Webb
Martha Beatrice Webb, Lady Passfield was an English sociologist, economist, socialist and social reformer. Although her husband became Baron Passfield in 1929, she refused to be known as Lady Passfield...

 were its leading members. George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

 and the members of the Bloomsbury Group
Bloomsbury Group
The Bloomsbury Group or Bloomsbury Set was a group of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists who held informal discussions in Bloomsbury throughout the 20th century. This English collective of friends and relatives lived, worked or studied near Bloomsbury in London during the first half...

 were also influenced by the Fabians. Such Christian socialist thinkers were important in the early history of the British Labour party.

In Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

, the Rerum Novarum
Rerum Novarum
Rerum Novarum is an encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on May 15, 1891. It was an open letter, passed to all Catholic bishops, that addressed the condition of the working classes. The encyclical is entitled: “Rights and Duties of Capital and Labour”...

encyclical
Encyclical
An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Catholic Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop...

 of Leo XIII (1891) was the starting point of a teaching on social questions that was expanded and updated all through the 20th century. Despite the introduction of social thought as an object of religious thought, Rerum Novarum explicitly rejects what it calls "the main tenet of socialism":

"Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonwealth. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property." Rerum Novarum, paragraph 16

The encyclical promotes a kind of corporatism
Corporatism
Corporatism, also known as corporativism, is a system of economic, political, or social organization that involves association of the people of society into corporate groups, such as agricultural, business, ethnic, labor, military, patronage, or scientific affiliations, on the basis of common...

 based on social solidarity among the classes with respects for the needs and rights of all.

In the November 1914 issue of the The Christian Socialist, Episcopal bishop Franklin Spencer Spalding
Franklin Spencer Spalding
Franklin Spencer Spalding was an Episcopal Bishop of Utah during the early 20th century who advocated Socialism as part of the Christian message.In November 1914 issue of The Christian Socialist Spalding states:...

 of Utah, U.S.A. stated:
"The Christian Church exists for the sole purpose of saving the human race. So far she has failed, but I think that Socialism shows her how she may succeed. It insists that men cannot be made right until the material conditions be made right. Although man cannot live by bread alone, he must have bread. Therefore the Church must destroy a system of society which inevitably creates and perpetuates unequal and unfair conditions of life. These unequal and unfair conditions have been created by competition. Therefore competition must cease and cooperation take its place."

Despite the explicit rejection of Socialism, in the more Catholic countries of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 the encyclical's teaching was the inspiration that led to the formation of new Christian democratic parties
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

.

A number of Christian socialist movements and political parties throughout the world group themselves into the International League of Religious Socialists
International League of Religious Socialists
The International League of Religious Socialists is an umbrella organization of religious socialist movements in political parties throughout the world. Founded in the 1920s, it has member groups in 21 countries totalling 200,000 members...

. It has member organizations in 21 countries representing 200,000 members.

Christian socialists draw parallels between what some have characterized as the egalitarian and anti-establishment message of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, who–according to the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

–spoke against the religious authorities of his time, and the egalitarian, anti-establishment, and sometimes anti-clerical message of most contemporary socialisms. Some Christian Socialists have become active Communists
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

. This phenomenon was most common among missionaries
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, the most notable being James Gareth Endicott
James Gareth Endicott
James Gareth Endicott was a Canadian clergyman, Christian missionary and socialist.- Family and early life :Endicott was born in Szechuan Province, China, the third of five children to a Methodist missionary family and became fluent in Chinese. His family returned to Canada in 1910...

, who became supportive of the struggle of the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 in the 1930s and 1940s.

Christian socialism is not to be confused with certain parties with "Christian Social" in their names which are found in the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

-speaking world, such as the contemporary Christian Social Union in Bavaria or the Christian Social Party in Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 c. 1900. Such parties do not claim to be socialist, nor are they considered socialist by others. The term Christian Democrat is more appropriately applied to the contemporary parties.

Religious criticisms


Socialism was strongly criticized in the 1878 papal encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris
Quod Apostolici Muneris
The encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris is the second encyclical of Pope Leo XIII. It was published on 28 December 1878.The encyclical is an attack on "socialism, communism and nihilism"; it is therefore usually regarded as an attack against Christian socialism...

by Pope Leo XIII. It was again denounced in the 1931 letter Quadragesimo Anno
Quadragesimo Anno
Quadragesimo Anno is an encyclical written by Pope Pius XI, issued 15 May 1931, 40 years after Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum. Unlike Leo XIII, who addressed the condition of workers, Pius XI discusses the ethical implications of the social and economic order...

. Socialists were accused of attempting to overthrow all existing civil society, and Christian socialism was deemed to be an oxymoron
Oxymoron
An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms...

 because of this. Pius XI famously wrote at the time that "no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist".

Christian socialist parties

  • Social Christians
    Social Christians
    Social Christians is a Christian social-democratic faction within the Democratic Party, a political party in Italy....

     (Italy)
  • Christian Left Party (Chile)
    Christian Left Party (Chile)
    The Christian Left Party of Chile is a Chilean left-wing political party. Founded in 1971, in its early days it was suppressed by the Pinochet dictatorship...

  • Marc Sangnier
    Marc Sangnier
    Marc Sangnier was a French Roman Catholic thinker and politician, who in 1894 founded le Sillon , a liberal Catholic movement. He aimed to bring Catholicism into a greater conformity with French Republican ideals and to provide an alternative to anticlerical labour movements...

    's Le Sillon
    Le Sillon
    Le Sillon was a French political and religious movement founded by Marc Sangnier which existed from 1894 to 1910...

     and then Ligue de la jeune République
    Ligue de la jeune République
    The Young Republic League was a French political party created in 1912 by Marc Sangnier, in continuation of Le Sillon, Sangnier's Christian social movement which was disavowed by the Pope Pius X...

     (France)
  • League of Christian Socialists
    League of Christian Socialists
    The League of Christian Socialists was a Dutch Christian socialist political party. The BCS is historically linked to the Dutch Labour Party and GreenLeft.-Party History:The BCS was founded in 1907...

     (the Netherlands)
  • Christian Social Party (Netherlands)
    Christian Social Party (Netherlands)
    The Christian Social Party was a Dutch Christian socialist political party. The CSP played only a minor role in Dutch politics and is historically linked to the Labour Party.-Party History:...

  • Christian Social Party (Switzerland)
    Christian Social Party (Switzerland)
    The Christian Social Party is a political party in Switzerland. The CSP is more social democratic than the CVP. With the moderate Christian left as its background, the CSP commits itself to social democratic and environmentalist political solutions...

  • Christian Social Democratic Party
    Christian Social Democratic Party
    The Christian Social Democratic Party is a Christian-Socialist-Democratic political party in Brazil.At the legislative elections, 6 October 2002, the party won 1 out of 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and no seats in the Senate. The party lost all representation in the Congress in the 2006...

     (Brazil)
  • Social Christian Party (Brazil)
    Social Christian Party (Brazil)
    The Social Christian Party is a Christian-democratic political party in Brazil.At the legislative elections, 6 October 2002, the party won 1 out of 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and no seats in the Senate. At the legislative elections of October 1, 2006, the party won 9 seats in the...

  • Christian Social Party (Venezuela)
    COPEI
    Copei – Social Christian Party of Venezuela is a third way political party in Venezuela. The name stands for Comité de Organización Política Electoral Independiente...



Non-socialist, conservative and demochristian parties:
  • Christian Social Party (Austria)
  • Christian Social Party (Belgium)
    Christian Social Party (Belgium)
    The Christian Social Party is a party operating in the German-speaking community of Belgium. Its President is Mathieu Grosch.In the 2004 European Parliament election, standing as Christlich-Soziale Partei - Europäische Volkspartei, the party gained the single seat allocated by Belgian law to the...

  • Christian Social Party (Belgium, defunct)
    Christian Social Party (Belgium, defunct)
    The Christian Social Party was a Belgian Catholic political party, which existed from 1945 until 1968.-History:At the end of World War II, on 18–19 August 1945 the Christelijke Volkspartij-Parti Social Chrétien was founded under the presidency of August de Schryver as the successor to the...

  • Christian Social Union (Croatia)
  • Social Christian Reformist Party
    Social Christian Reformist Party
    The Social Christian Reformist Party is a conservative, christian democratic, economic liberal and a populist party in the Dominican Republic formed by the union of the Partido Reformista and the Partido Revolucionario Social Cristiano...

     (Dominican Republic)
  • Christian Social Party (Germany)
    Christian Social Party (Germany)
    The Christian Social Party was a right-wing political party in the German Empire, founded in 1878 by Adolf Stoecker as the Christlichsoziale Arbeiterpartei . The party combined a strong Christian and conservative programme with progressive ideas on labour, and tried to provide an alternative for...

  • Christian Social Union of Bavaria
    Christian Social Union of Bavaria
    The Christian Social Union in Bavaria is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It operates only in the state of Bavaria, while its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union , operates in the other 15 states of Germany...

  • Christian Social People's Service
    Christian Social People's Service
    The Christian Social People's Service was a Protestant conservative political party in the Weimar Republic....


Prominent Christian socialists


The British Labour Party, Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 and New Democratic Party
New Democratic Party
The New Democratic Party , commonly referred to as the NDP, is a federal social-democratic political party in Canada. The interim leader of the NDP is Nycole Turmel who was appointed to the position due to the illness of Jack Layton, who died on August 22, 2011. The provincial wings of the NDP in...

 of Canada have both been influenced by Christian socialism, and some figures from both parties could be considered to be Christian socialists, depending on the definition of "socialism" used.

Former British Labour leader Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 is a member of the Christian Socialist Movement
Christian Socialist Movement
The Christian Socialist Movement, or CSM, is a socialist society affiliated to the British Labour Party.The CSM was an amalgamation of the Society of Socialist Clergy and Ministers and the Socialist Christian League. R. H. Tawney made one of his last public appearances at the Movement's inaugural...

 although his adherence to Christian Socialist ideals is highly disputed, as he is much further to the right than most "socialists".

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd
Kevin Michael Rudd is an Australian politician who was the 26th Prime Minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010. He has been Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2010...

 identified himself as an "old-fashioned Christian socialist" in a 2003 interview with The Australian Financial Review
The Australian Financial Review
The Australian Financial Review is a leading business and finance newspaper in Australia.Fairfax Media publishes it in a compact format six days a week, Monday to Saturday....

, later writing in 2006: "A Christian perspective, informed by a social gospel or Christian socialist tradition, should not be rejected contemptuously by secular politicians as if these views are an unwelcome intrusion into the political sphere." However he also described socialism as an "arcane, 19th century" doctrine and stated that "I am not a socialist. I have never been a socialist and I never will be a socialist."

The following list includes other well-known Christian socialists:
  • Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., an anti-Marcos dictatorship hero and martyr of Philippine democracy, who described himself as a "born again" Catholic and a Christian Socialist
  • Francis Bellamy
    Francis Bellamy
    Francis Julius Bellamy was an author, editor, and Baptist minister born in Mount Morris, New York. He attended Rome Free Academy in Rome, New York, the University of Rochester and the Rochester Theological Seminary . He was an American Baptist minister and Christian Socialist who wrote the...

    , original author of the Pledge of Allegiance
    Pledge of Allegiance
    The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of loyalty to the federal flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942...

    .
  • Karl Barth
    Karl Barth
    Karl Barth was a Swiss Reformed theologian whom critics hold to be among the most important Christian thinkers of the 20th century; Pope Pius XII described him as the most important theologian since Thomas Aquinas...

  • Tony Benn
    Tony Benn
    Anthony Neil Wedgwood "Tony" Benn, PC is a British Labour Party politician and a former MP and Cabinet Minister.His successful campaign to renounce his hereditary peerage was instrumental in the creation of the Peerage Act 1963...

  • Robert Malachy Burke
    Robert Malachy Burke
    Robert Malachy Burke was a noted Christian Socialist and philanthropist. He was born into a landed Church of Ireland family at Ballydugan, Loughrea, County Galway....

  • Walt Brown
    Walt Brown
    Walter Frederick Brown is an American politician and was the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party USA in the 2004 elections. Brown became a socialist in 1948. He served as Democratic member of the Oregon State Senate from 1975 to 1987. Brown also served as a Socialist Party of Oregon...

  • Hugo Chávez
    Hugo Chávez
    Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

  • Mauricio Funes
    Mauricio Funes
    Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena is the President of El Salvador. He won the 2009 presidential election as the candidate of the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front political party and took office on 1 June 2009.-Biography:Funes is married to Dr. Vanada Pignado, who was involved in...

  • Rafael Correa
    Rafael Correa
    Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado born is the President of the Republic of Ecuador and was the president pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations. An economist educated in Ecuador, Belgium and the United States, he was elected President in late 2006 and took office in January 2007...

  • Dorothy Day
    Dorothy Day
    Dorothy Day was an American journalist, social activist and devout Catholic convert; she advocated the Catholic economic theory of Distributism. She was also considered to be an anarchist, and did not hesitate to use the term...

  • Percy Dearmer
    Percy Dearmer
    Percy Dearmer, was an English priest and liturgist best known as the author of The Parson's Handbook, a liturgical manual for Anglican clergy. A lifelong socialist, he was an early advocate of the public ministry of women and concerned with social justice...

  • Tommy Douglas
    Tommy Douglas
    Thomas Clement "Tommy" Douglas, was a Scottish-born Baptist minister who became a prominent Canadian social democratic politician...

  • Diane Drufenbrock
    Diane Drufenbrock
    Sister Diane Joyce Drufenbrock, S.S.S.F., , also known as Sister Madeleine Sophie, is a member of the School Sisters of St...

  • Paulo Freire
    Paulo Freire
    Paulo Reglus Neves Freire was a Brazilian educator and influential theorist of critical pedagogy.-Biography:...

    , a Brazilian educator and critical pedagogy
    Critical pedagogy
    Critical pedagogy is a philosophy of education described by Henry Giroux as an "educational movement, guided by passion and principle, to help students develop consciousness of freedom, recognize authoritarian tendencies, and connect knowledge to power and the ability to take constructive...

     theorist
  • Vekoslav Grmič, a Slovenia
    Slovenia
    Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

    n Roman Catholic bishop, writer, essayist and public figure
  • Thomas J. Hagerty
    Thomas J. Hagerty
    The Reverend Friar Thomas J. Hagerty was an American Roman Catholic priest from New Mexico, and one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World .-Biography:...

  • Keir Hardie
    Keir Hardie
    James Keir Hardie, Sr. , was a Scottish socialist and labour leader, and was the first Independent Labour Member of Parliament elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom...

  • Chris Hedges
    Chris Hedges
    Christopher Lynn Hedges is an American journalist, author, and war correspondent, specializing in American and Middle Eastern politics and societies...

  • Thomas Hughes
    Thomas Hughes
    Thomas Hughes was an English lawyer and author. He is most famous for his novel Tom Brown's Schooldays , a semi-autobiographical work set at Rugby School, which Hughes had attended. It had a lesser-known sequel, Tom Brown at Oxford .- Biography :Hughes was the second son of John Hughes, editor of...

  • Sir David Fletcher Jones
    Fletcher Jones
    Sir Fletcher Jones OBE was an Australian clothing manufacturer and retailer, and a pioneer in workforce participation...

  • Helen Keller
    Helen Keller
    Helen Adams Keller was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree....

  • Michael Joseph Savage
    Michael Joseph Savage
    Michael Joseph Savage was the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand.- Early life :Born in Tatong, Victoria, Australia, Savage first became involved in politics while working in that state. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1907. There he worked in a variety of jobs, as a miner, flax-cutter and...

    , former Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
    New Zealand Labour Party
    The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. It describes itself as centre-left and socially progressive and has been one of the two primary parties of New Zealand politics since 1935....

  • Charles Kingsley
    Charles Kingsley
    Charles Kingsley was an English priest of the Church of England, university professor, historian and novelist, particularly associated with the West Country and northeast Hampshire.-Life and character:...

  • Edvard Kocbek
    Edvard Kocbek
    Edvard Kocbek was a Slovenian poet, writer, essayist, translator, political activist, and resistance fighter. He is considered as one of the best authors who have written in Slovene, and one of the best Slovene poets after Prešeren...

    , a Slovenia
    Slovenia
    Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

    n thinker, poet and politician
  • Janez Evangelist Krek
    Janez Evangelist Krek
    Janez Evangelist Krek was a Slovene Christian Socialist politician, priest, journalist and author.He was born in a peasant family in the village of Sveti Gregor , in what was then the Austrian Empire. His father died when he was a child...

  • George Lansbury
    George Lansbury
    George Lansbury was a British politician, socialist, Christian pacifist and newspaper editor. He was a Member of Parliament from 1910 to 1912 and from 1922 to 1940, and leader of the Labour Party from 1932 to 1935....

  • Father Walter Lini
    Walter Lini
    Father Walter Hadye Lini was an Anglican priest and the founding Prime Minister of Vanuatu. He was born on Pentecost Island. During the era when Vanuatu was a condominium ruled by the United Kingdom and France, Lini formed the Vanua'aku Pati, which was principally backed by English-speakers...

    , for whom Christianity and socialism held strong similarities and could be combined to form the basis of Melanesian socialism
    Melanesian socialism
    The concept of Melanesian socialism was first advocated by Father Walter Lini of the New Hebrides , who became the country's first prime minister upon its independence from France and the United Kingdom in 1980...

  • John Ludlow
    John Ludlow
    John Malcolm Forbes Ludlow was an English lawyer and leader of the Christian socialist movement.-Biography:...

  • Margaret MacDonald
    Margaret MacDonald (spouse)
    Margaret MacDonald, née Margaret Ethel Gladstone was a feminist, social reformer, and the wife of British politician and future Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Ramsay MacDonald from 1896 until her death from blood poisoning in 1911...

    , the wife of UK Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
    Ramsay MacDonald
    James Ramsay MacDonald, PC, FRS was a British politician who was the first ever Labour Prime Minister, leading a minority government for two terms....

  • F. O. Matthiessen
    F. O. Matthiessen
    Francis Otto Matthiessen was an educator, scholar and literary critic influential in the fields of American literature and American studies.-Scholarly work:...

  • Frederick Denison Maurice, founding father of British Christian Socialism, and founder of The Working Men's College.
  • Jürgen Moltmann
    Jürgen Moltmann
    Jürgen Moltmann is a German Reformed theologian. The 2000 recipient of the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion.-Moltmann's Youth:...

  • Brian P. Moore
    Brian Moore (politician)
    Brian Patrick Moore is an United States politician and founder of antiwar organization Nature Coast Coalition for Peace & Justice. He was the presidential nominee of the Socialist Party USA for the 2008 United States presidential election. He waged several campaigns for mayor and city council in...

    , a candidate for the 2008 US Presidential elections
  • Morrissey
    Morrissey
    Steven Patrick Morrissey , known as Morrissey, is an English singer and lyricist. He rose to prominence in the 1980s as the lyricist and vocalist of the alternative rock band The Smiths. The band was highly successful in the United Kingdom but broke up in 1987, and Morrissey began a solo career,...

  • Reinhold Niebuhr
    Reinhold Niebuhr
    Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr was an American theologian and commentator on public affairs. Starting as a leftist minister in the 1920s indebted to theological liberalism, he shifted to the new Neo-Orthodox theology in the 1930s, explaining how the sin of pride created evil in the world...

  • Huub Oosterhuis
    Huub Oosterhuis
    Hubertus Gerardus Josephus Henricus Oosterhuis is a controversial Dutch theologian and poet. He is mainly known for his contribution to Christian music and liturgy in the Dutch language, used in both Protestant and Roman Catholic churches, although there is many Catholic opposition to his work,...

  • Karl Polanyi
    Karl Polanyi
    Karl Paul Polanyi was a Hungarian philosopher, political economist and economic anthropologist known for his opposition to traditional economic thought and his book The Great Transformation...

  • J. K. Rowling
    J. K. Rowling
    Joanne "Jo" Rowling, OBE , better known as J. K. Rowling, is the British author of the Harry Potter fantasy series...

    , author, prominently known for the Harry Potter
    Harry Potter
    Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...

    series
  • Dorothee Sölle
    Dorothee Sölle
    Dorothee Steffensky-Sölle was a German liberation theologian and writer who coined the term Christofascism...

  • Donald Soper, Baron Soper
  • R. H. Tawney
    R. H. Tawney
    Richard Henry Tawney was an English economic historian, social critic, Christian socialist, and an important proponent of adult education....

  • Norman Thomas
    Norman Thomas
    Norman Mattoon Thomas was a leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.-Early years:...

  • Paul Tillich
    Paul Tillich
    Paul Johannes Tillich was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. Tillich was one of the most influential Protestant theologians of the 20th century...

  • Cornel West
    Cornel West
    Cornel Ronald West is an American philosopher, author, critic, actor, civil rights activist and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America....

  • Brooke Foss Westcott
    Brooke Foss Westcott
    Brooke Foss Westcott was a British bishop, Biblical scholar and theologian, serving as Bishop of Durham from 1890 until his death.-Early life and education:...

  • Jackson Stitt Wilson
    Jackson Stitt Wilson
    Jackson Stitt Wilson , commonly known as J. Stitt Wilson, was a leading Christian Socialist American politician during the first decades of the 20th Century. He is best remembered as the mayor of the city of Berkeley, California from 1911 to 1913.-Background and Ideas:J. Stitt Wilson was born in...

     (1868–1942), a Methodist minister and socialist mayor of Berkeley, California from 1911-13.
  • Frank P. Zeidler
    Frank P. Zeidler
    Frank Paul Zeidler was an American Socialist politician and Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, serving three terms from April 20, 1948 to April 18, 1960. He was the most recent Socialist mayor of any major American city, although U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders was the mayor of Burlington, the largest...

    , ex-Milwaukee mayor and Socialist Party USA
    Socialist Party USA
    The Socialist Party USA is a multi-tendency democratic-socialist party in the United States. The party states that it is the rightful continuation and successor to the tradition of the Socialist Party of America, which had lasted from 1901 to 1972.The party is officially committed to left-wing...

     presidential candidate

Quotes



If we all came of the same father and mother, of Adam and Eve, how can they say or prove that they are better than we, if it be not that they make us gain for them by our toil what they spend in their pride? John Ball
John Ball (priest)
John Ball was an English Lollard priest who took a prominent part in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. In that year, Ball gave a sermon in which he asked the rhetorical question, "When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?".-Biography:Little is known of Ball's early years. He lived in...



Socialism which means love, cooperation and brotherhood in every department of human affairs, is the only outward expression of a Christian's faith. I am firmly convinced that whether they know it or not, all who approve and accept competition and struggle against each other as the means whereby we gain our daily bread, do indeed betray and make of no effect the "will of God." George Lansbury
George Lansbury
George Lansbury was a British politician, socialist, Christian pacifist and newspaper editor. He was a Member of Parliament from 1910 to 1912 and from 1922 to 1940, and leader of the Labour Party from 1932 to 1935....




Capitalism is the way of the devil and exploitation. If you really want to look at things through the eyes of Jesus Christ–who I think was the first socialist–only socialism can really create a genuine society. Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...


See also


  • Agrarian socialism
    Agrarian socialism
    Agrarian socialism is a socioeconomic political system which combines an agrarian way of life with socialist economic policies.When compared to standard socialist systems which are generally urban/industrial , internationally oriented, and more progressive/liberal in terms of social orientation,...

  • Catholic trade unions
  • Catholic social teaching
    Catholic social teaching
    Catholic social teaching is a body of doctrine developed by the Catholic Church on matters of poverty and wealth, economics, social organization and the role of the state...

  • Christian anarchism
    Christian anarchism
    Christian anarchism is a movement in political theology that combines anarchism and Christianity. It is the belief that there is only one source of authority to which Christians are ultimately answerable, the authority of God as embodied in the teachings of Jesus...

  • Christian communism
    Christian communism
    Christian communism is a form of religious communism based on Christianity. It is a theological and political theory based upon the view that the teachings of Jesus Christ compel Christians to support communism as the ideal social system...

  • Christian democracy
    Christian Democracy
    Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

  • Christian left
    Christian left
    The Christian left is a term originating in the United States, used to describe a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embraces social justice....

  • Christian trade unions
  • International League of Religious Socialists
    International League of Religious Socialists
    The International League of Religious Socialists is an umbrella organization of religious socialist movements in political parties throughout the world. Founded in the 1920s, it has member groups in 21 countries totalling 200,000 members...

  • Liberation theology
    Liberation theology
    Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

  • Political Catholicism
    Political Catholicism
    Political catholicism is a political and cultural conception which promotes the ideas and social teaching of the Catholic Church in public life...

  • Postmodern Christianity
    Postmodern Christianity
    Postmodern Christianity is an outlook of Christianity that is closely associated with the body of writings known as postmodern philosophy. Although it is a relatively recent development in the Christian religion, some Christian postmodernists assert that their style of thought has an affinity with...

  • Spiritual left
    Spiritual left
    Spiritual left refers to a spiritually or religiously based position that shares the social transformative vision of the Left and its commitment to social justice, peace, economic equality, and ecological consciousness, but who base their commitment on spiritual or religious traditions.- Examples...

  • Utopian socialism
    Utopian socialism
    Utopian socialism is a term used to define the first currents of modern socialist thought as exemplified by the work of Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, and Robert Owen which inspired Karl Marx and other early socialists and were looked on favorably...

  • Working Men's College
    Working Men's College
    The Working Men's College- WMC, being among the earliest adult education institutions established in the United Kingdom, is Europe's oldest extant centre for adult education and perhaps one of its smallest...

  • Radical center (politics)

Further reading


Primary sources
  • Gray, John. The Life of Frederick Denison Maurice: Chiefly Told in His Own Letters (1885) online edition
  • Kingsley, Charles. The Works of Charles Kingsley (1899) online edition
  • Kingsley, Frances Eliza Grenfell. Charles Kingsley: His Letters and Memories of His Life (1877) online edition
  • Leno, John Bedford
    John Bedford Leno
    John Bedford Leno was a Chartist, Radical, Poet and printer who acted as a "bridge" between Chartism and early Labour movements, as well as between the working and ruling classes. He campaigned to give the vote to all common men and women, driven by a strong desire for "justice and freedom for all...

    . The Aftermath with Autobiography of the Author, Reeves & Turner, London 1892


Secondary sources
  • Bissett, Jim. Agrarian socialism in America: Marx, Jefferson, and Jesus in the Oklahoma Countryside, 1904-1920 University of Oklahoma Press
    University of Oklahoma Press
    The University of Oklahoma Press is the publishing arm of the University of Oklahoma. It has been in operation for over seventy-five years, and was the first university press established in the American Southwest. It was founded by William Bennett Bizzell, the fifth president of the University of...

    , 1999
  • Boyer, John. Culture and Political Crisis in Vienna: Christian Socialism in Power, 1897-1918 (1995)
  • Cort, John C. Christian Socialism: An Informal History (1988)
  • Hopkins, Charles Howard. The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism, 1865-1915 (1940) (Chap. X "Christian Socialism")
  • Phillips, Paul T. A Kingdom on Earth: Anglo-American Social Christianity, 1880-1940. (1996)
  • Young, Shawn David. "From Hippies to Jesus Freaks: Christian Radicalism in Chicago’s Inner-City." Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. Vol 22(2) Summer 2010.

External links