Resistance to Christianity
A Chronological Encyclopaedia of Heresy from the Beginning to the Eighteenth Century
by Raoul Vaneigem. Translated by Bill Brown
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Pub Date 28 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 06 Mar 2024
Resistance to Christianity: A Chronological Encyclopaedia of Heresy from the Beginning to the Eighteenth Century is a revisionary account of the forms of thought and belief that have been rejected or suppressed by orthodox Christianity over the course of the centuries. Formidably erudite without ever drifting into dry scholasticism, Resistance to Christianity ranges from the origins of the Bible to the fraught doctrinal controversies of the fourth century to the Levellers and Jansenists of the early modern period, thereby revealing the too-little-known history that lies behind the modern world’s theological horizons.
Resistance to Christianity is far more, however, than a study of religious movements and ideas; indeed, Vaneigem is bracingly unapologetic in his ambition “to examine the resistance that the inclination to natural liberty has, for nearly twenty centuries, opposed to . . . Christian oppression.” The story of how men and women have again and again resisted the authoritarian implications of religious orthodoxy is, above all, a crucial strand of the history of human freedom.
Bill Brown’s translation makes available in English a major work by one of the preeminent thinkers of our time. A remarkable feat of historical scholarship that deserves to be widely read, Resistance to Christianity represents radical thought at its most exciting, incisive, and compelling.
Raoul Vaneigem is a historian and social theorist who was prominently associated with the Situationist International. He is the author of numerous books, including the highly influential The Revolution of Everyday Life. Among other of his works available in English are The Movement of the Free Spirit and A Declaration of the Rights of Human Beings. He presently divides his time between Belgium and Barcelona.
Bill Brown has translated hundreds of letters, essays and books, most of them by members of the Situationist International.
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"Resistance to Christianity" by Raoul Vaneigem is an insightful journey through the annals of history, unearthing the often-overlooked narratives of heresy that have challenged conventional Christian doctrine. Vaneigem's meticulous scholarship spans from the inception of the Bible to the contentious theological disputes of the fourth century, all the way to the revolutionary Levellers and Jansenists of the early modern era. This revelatory work delves deep into the relentless battle for natural liberty against Christian oppression, offering an unapologetic exploration of resistance that has persisted for nearly two millennia. Bill Brown's masterful translation brings this major contribution to English-speaking readers, showcasing Vaneigem's brilliance as a historian and social theorist. "Resistance to Christianity" is a remarkable testament to human freedom, making it a compelling, incisive, and exhilarating work of radical thought.