Christian left  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Christian left is a range of centre-left and left-wing Christian political and social movements that largely embrace social justice viewpoints and uphold a social gospel. Given the inherent diversity in international political thought, the term can have different meanings and applications in different countries. Although there is some overlap, the Christian left is distinct from liberal Christianity, meaning not all Christian leftists are liberal Christians, and vice versa. Some Christian leftists have socially conservative views on social issues but lean left on economic issues.

Contents

Terminology

Template:Refimprove section As with any section within the left and right wings of a political spectrum, a label such as "Christian left" represents an approximation, including within it groups and persons holding many diverse viewpoints. The term left-wing might encompass a number of values, some of which may or may not be held by different Christian movements and individuals.

As the unofficial title of a loose association of believers, it does provide a clear distinction from the more commonly known "Christian right" or "religious right" and from its key leaders and political views.

The most common religious viewpoint that might be described as "left-wing" is social justice, or care for impoverished and oppressed groups. Supporters of this trend might encourage universal health care, welfare provisions, subsidized education, foreign aid, and affirmative action for improving the conditions of the disadvantaged. With values stemming from egalitarianism, adherents of the Christian left consider it part of their religious duty to take actions on behalf of the oppressed. As nearly all major religions contain some kind of requirement to help others, various religionsTemplate:Quantify have cited social justice as a movement in line with their faith.Template:Citation needed

The Christian left holds that social justice, renunciation of power, humility, forgiveness, and private observation of prayer (as opposed to publicly mandated prayer), are mandated by the Gospel (Matthew 6:5-6).Template:Citation needed The Bible contains accounts of Jesus repeatedly advocating for the poor and outcast over the wealthy, powerful, and religious. The Christian left maintains that such a stance is relevant and important. Adhering to the standard of "turning the other cheek", which they believe supersedes the Old Testament law of "an eye for an eye", the Christian left oftenTemplate:Quantify hearkens towards pacifism in opposition to policies advancing militarism.Template:Citation needed

Some among the Christian left, The Christian left is a broad category that includes Christian socialism, while also including non-socialists as well.

Notable Christian leftists

Argentina

Australia

Austria

Belgium

Brazil

  • Paulo Evaristo Arns, Roman Catholic Archbishop of São Paulo and Cardinal
  • Frei Betto, writer, political activist, liberation theologist and Dominican friar
  • Leonardo Boff, academic and social activist
  • Dom Hélder Câmara, Roman Catholic archbishop
  • Sister Maurina, Roman Catholic nun who was tortured during the military dictatorship
  • Sister Dorothy Stang, Roman Catholic nun murdered for helping the landless and poor
  • Frei Tito, Roman Catholic friar who was tortured during the military dictatorship

Canada

Chile

China

Colombia

Cuba

East Timor

Ecuador

El Salvador

France

Germany

Greece

Haiti

Ireland

Italy

Japan

Netherlands

Nicaragua

New Zealand

Peru

Philippines

Poland

Portugal

Russia

Slovenia

South Africa

  • Allan Boesak
  • Dennis Hurley, former Catholic Archbishop of Durban, anti-Apartheid activist and advocate for reform within the Catholic Church
  • Beyers Naude, anti-Apartheid Dutch Reformed minister
  • Alan Paton, author, politician and anti-Apartheid activist
  • Desmond Tutu, former Anglican Archbishop of South Africa

Spain

Sri Lanka

Sweden

Switzerland

United States

Leaders (political)

Leaders and activists (civil)

Thinkers

Promoters

United Kingdom

Image:Larry Sanders 1559.jpg
A meeting of the Oxford Branch of the Christian Socialist Movement, with Larry Sanders speaking, October 2007

The medieval Lollards, particularly John Ball, took up many anti-establishment causes. During the English Civil War many of the more radical Parliamentarians, such as John Lilburne and the Levellers, based their belief in universal suffrage and proto-socialism on their reading of the Bible. Other people on the Christian left include:Template:Citation needed

Vatican

  • Sister Rose Thering, during Vatican II helped in exonerating Jews from Christ's death; social and human rights activist

Venezuela

Political parties

Early Christianity

Movements

A number of movements of the past had similarities to today's Christian left:

Groups

Other

Contrast: Christian right




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Christian left" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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