We’re aware that nonviolent direct action from a Christian perspective might be quite niche or new to some. So we have put together below some suggested reading so that we can all get a bit wiser on understanding the theory and theology that underpins what we do. We have purposely kept this reading list short so as not to over-whelm, but we may add to it in due course.
Reading on non-violent direct action and civil resistance
The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Gene Sharp: Now classic analysis of the theory and dynamics of nonviolent action and an exhaustive list of methods with examples.
Why Civil Resistance Works. The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan: Combining statistical analysis with case studies of specific countries and territories, Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan detail the factors enabling such campaigns to succeed and, sometimes, causing them to fail.
Common Sense for the 21st Century Only Nonviolent Rebellion Can Now Stop Climate Breakdown and Social Collapse, Roger Hallam. The climate crisis threatens global social collapse within a generation. Common Sense for the 21st Century outlines how movements around the world now need to come together to start doing ‘what works’. This means engaging in mass civil disobedience to make real change happen. This booklet is not just theory, it is the call to action. We will be saved by ordinary people breaking the law. This is common sense – only Rebellion can save us now. Roger Hallam is the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion. His message to everyone is: ‘Think on it but then act. Join the Rebellion. Let’s get to it.’
The Albert Einstein Institution: nonviolent action, 198 methods of nonviolent action: This is a short summary of basic ideas of actions and a 5min read at most.
Just Stop Oil protests might be encouraging more climate action, survey reveals, Social Change Lab: Some recent research carried out on the impact of the Insulate Britain protests:
Reading on nonviolent direct action from a Christian perspective:
Time to Act, Christian Climate Action: Written by members and friends of Christian Climate Action, this stimulating resource book sets out the moral and religious case for joining the struggle against climate change. It reflects on the Christian tradition of non-violent direct action, and offers deeply moving testimonies by those engaged in such protests today, along with powerful sermons, prayers, liturgies and other spiritual resources.
Walter Wink: The Third Way. A short document on how Jesus’ sermon on the mount relates to nonviolent direct action.
Walter Wink: Jesus and Nonviolence. More than ever, Walter Wink believes, the Christian tradition of nonviolence is needed as an alternative to the dominant and death-dealing “powers” of our consumerist culture and fractured world. In this small book Wink offers a precis of his whole thinking about this issue, including the relation of Jesus and his message to politics and nonviolence, the history of nonviolent efforts, and how nonviolence can win the day when others don’t hesitate to resort to violence or terror to achieve their aims.