Christian Anarchism: Communitarian or Capitalist?

Libertarian Papers. 4 (1): 151-162, 2012

15 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2012

See all articles by Alexander William Salter

Alexander William Salter

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: April 17, 2012


I build on Christoyannopoulous’s (2011) compendium of Christian anarchist thought to shed light on the divergence between Christian anarcho-communitarians and Christian anarcho-capitalists. The anarcho-communitarians believe the institution of private property is contrary to the Word of Christ, while the anarcho-capitalists hold it is justifiable. I show that the anarcho-communitarians misunderstand the nature of property, rendering them unable to reconcile an apparent contradiction between Christ’s command to renounce violence and His violent cleansing of the temple. The Christian anarcho-capitalists, drawing upon the philosophy of natural law, face no such difficulty. Although their position is far from unassailable, the Christian anarcho-capitalist paradigm is currently the only theoretically consistent interpretation, and will remain so unless the Christian anarcho-communitarians can discover and advance a new theoretical framework.

Keywords: Christianity, capitalism, socialism, pacifism, Sermon on the Mount

JEL Classification: Z12, P14

Suggested Citation

Salter, Alexander William, Christian Anarchism: Communitarian or Capitalist? (April 17, 2012). Libertarian Papers. 4 (1): 151-162, 2012. Available at SSRN:

Alexander William Salter (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79409
United States


American Institute for Economic Research

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

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