Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

An Anabaptist-Liberation Christianity: A Beginning Bibliography

Emily Hunter McGowin asked for a working bibliography on an approach to Christianity that is centered in discipleship to the nonviolent Jesus and is characterized by a rejection of worldly values like materialistic consumerism, militarism and violence, gender heirarchies, envioronmental exploitation and support for the death penalty–a perspective that embraces a discipleship with radically different values: simplicity and economic sharing, nonviolent struggle for justice, risky peacemaking motivated by love of neighbor and love of enemies, equality, covenantal caretaking for Creation, an approach to crime characterized by healing and restorative justice.  Well, Emily, there may be several approaches like this. The tradition I know is informed by several key movements in church history:  the early Church before the Emperor Constantine’s “conversion” turned the Jesus movement into an imperial religion; some of the monastic reform movements; the Anabaptist strand of the Radical Reformation of the 16th C.; The “echoes” of  Anabaptist radicalism in 17th C. movements such as the Levellers and Diggers, in the earliest phases of Baptist and Quaker beginnings; the Evangelical revivalist reformers of the 18th & 19th Centuries who opposed slavery and war, fought for gender equality and an end to child labor; the Social Gospel movement; the nonviolent strand of the Black Freedom movement; and some versions of Liberation theology.  Below is a working bibliography for those without a seminary or graduate education.  I hope it is helpful.  In a different bibliography, I will address specific issues like capital punishment or “homosexuality.”

Arias, Mortimer.  Evangelization and the Subversive Memory of Jesus: Announcing the Reign of God (Fortress, 1984).

 Augsburger, David.  Dissident Discipleship:  A Spirituality of Self- Surrender, Love of God, and Love of Neighbor (Brazos, 2006). 

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship.  (Macmillan, 1954.)

 Camp, Lee. Mere Discipleship:  Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World.  (Brazos, 2003).

 Costas, Orlando. Liberating News:  A Theology of Contextual Evangelization (Eerdmans, 1989).

 Dayton, Donald.  Discovering an Evangelical Heritage (Harper, 1976).

 Escobar, Samuel and John Driver. Christian Mission and Social Justice. (Herald Press, 1978).

 Newbigin, Lesslie.  The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. (Eerdmans, 1989). 

Nuñez, Emilio A. Liberation Theology (Moody Press, 1985). 

Sider, Ronald J. Genuine Christianity:  Essentials for Living Your Faith  (Zondervan, 1996).

Sider, Ronald J. One-Sided Christianity?  Uniting the Church to Heal a Lost and Broken World (HarperCollins, 1993). 

Swartley, Willard M. The Covenant of Peace: The Missing Peace in New Testament Theology (Eerdmans, 2006).

Stassen, Glen H.  Living the Sermon on the Mount: A Practical Hope for  Grace and Deliverance (Jossey-Bass, 2006).

Stassen, Glen H. and David Gushee. Kingdom Ethics:  Following Jesus in  Contemporary Context (IVP, 2003).

 Wallis, Jim.  The Call to Conversion (Harper, 1981).

 Weaver, J. Denny.  Anabaptist Theology in the Face of Postmodernity (Cascadia, 2000).

 Weaver, J. Denny.  Becoming Anabaptist (Herald Press, 2005).

 Weaver, J. Denny. The Nonviolent Atonement (Eerdmans, 2001). 

Williamson, Jr., George.  Radicals:  Anabaptists and the Current World Crisis (Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, 2005).

 Yoder, John Howard. He Came Preaching Peace (Herald Press, 1985).

 Yoder, John Howard.  The Politics of Jesus: Vicit Agnus Noster, rev. ed.  (Eerdmans, 1994; Orig. ed., 1972).


August 18, 2007 - Posted by | anabaptists, Christianity, nonviolence, peacemaking


  1. Michael,

    Thank you for such a thorough list! I’m eager to pick a few and get started. I have read Wallis and Sider, but I’ve only touched on a few excerpts from Yoder.

    BTW: It may be that “Hunger” is a humorous Freudian slip, but my middle name should be “Hunter.” 🙂

    Thanks again for the information, Michael.

    Have a blessed Lord’s day,


    Comment by Emily Hunter McGowin | August 18, 2007

  2. Thanks, Emily. I have now corrected the misspelling of your middle name.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | August 18, 2007

  3. What, no Walter Wink?

    Comment by David Reese | August 20, 2007

  4. Good point, David. I forgot to include him because I tend to like Wink’s more academic books than his ones for laity. 🙂

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | August 20, 2007

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