At different times and places, Christian ideas have had a radical, critical role and have served as a basis for programs of social change. This concise and clearly written book documents the history of radical Christianity by discussing some of the most important developments and figures, from the millenarian movements of early Christianity to the liberation theology of today.
Christopher Rowland begins by discussing the character and transformation of early Christian ideas and the ongoing patterns of protest against the status quo. Subsequent chapters deal with the legacy of the Apocalypse and with the work of Thomas Muenzer and Gerrard Winstanley. A final chapter on liberation theology examines the role of religion in Latin America today, where "basic Christian communities" have emerged as power-houses of social and political reform.
'Radical Christianity' is a reading of recovery which shows that social criticism and hope for a better world are integral features of the Christian tradition. The book will be of great interest to students of religion and to anyone concerned with the role of religious ideas in past and present-day societies.
Reverend Professor Christopher Rowland teaches at Queen's College, The University of Oxford. He has published extensively in the fields of theology and the sociology of religion. His other publications include 'The Open Heaven' and 'Christian Origins'.