The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the
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Christian socialism is a form of
Other earlier figures are also viewed as Christian socialists, such as the nineteenth century writers
Old Testament had divided perspectives on the issue of poverty. One part of the Jewish tradition held that poverty was judgement of God upon the wicked while viewing prosperity as a reward for the good, stating that "The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want" (Prov. 13:25).
However, there are other sections that instruct generosity to the "have nots" of society. The
You shall not oppress your neighbour...but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord
Lordyour God] executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner therefore; for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt— (Deut. 10:18–19).
When you reap in your harvest in the field, and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it...When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again...When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless and the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked— (Ps. 82 (81): 3, 4).
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!...He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honour— (Ps. 112 (111): 1, 9).
Even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood...cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow— (Isa. 1:15–17).
He who loves gold will not be justified, and he who pursues money will be led astray by it. Many have come to ruin because of gold, and their destruction has met them face to face. It is a stumbling block to those who are devoted to it, and every fool will be taken captive by it— (Sir. 31: 5–7).
The most important quote[
It is God's gift to humankind that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil— (Ecc. 3: 13).
In the New Testament,
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up for treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you have kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter— (Jam. 5:1–6).
During the New Testament period and beyond there is evidence that many Christian communities practiced forms of sharing, redistribution and communism.
Who is the covetous man? One for whom plenty is not enough. Who is the defrauder? One who takes away what belongs to everyone. And are not you covetous, are you not a defrauder, when you keep for private use what you were given for distribution? When some one strips a man of his clothes we call him a thief. And one who might clothe the naked and does not—should not he be given the same name? The bread in your hoard belongs to the hungry; the cloak in your wardrobe belongs to the naked; the shoes you let rot belong to the barefoot; the money in your vaults belongs to the destitute. All you might help and do not—to all these you are doing wrong
I am often reproached for continually attacking the rich. Yes, because the rich are continually attacking the poor. But those I attack are not the rich as such, only those who misuse their wealth. I point out constantly that those I accuse are not the rich, but the rapacious; wealth is one thing, covetousness another. Learn to distinguish.
A variety of socialist perspectives emerged in 19th century Britain, beginning with
Ruskin was not "an authentic Socialist in any of its various nineteenth-century meanings." His "only real contact with the Christian Socialists came through the
In the November 1914 issue of The Christian Socialist, Episcopal bishop
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.
The political movement of
Christian democratic parties (under various names) were formed in Europe and Latin America after World War II. Some became "a major political force."
A number of Christian socialist movements and political parties in Europe grouped themselves into the
Christian socialists draw parallels between what some have characterized as the
Some Christian socialists have become active
Christian socialism is not to be confused with certain parties with "Christian Social" in their names which are found in the
It has been shown that