By: Fran Quigley
“Fran Quigley tells a new story of religion and socialism in this country. Where others have explored the origins and effects of Christian socialism, he shows us a nascent multi-faith, religious socialism. Through a scholarly, yet very readable blend of history and intimate profiles of religious socialist activists, he presents a vision of modern-day socialism that has already attracted tens of thousands. In a hospital in Detroit, during a labor organizing drive in the South, in the movement for racial justice, or on the streets of New York City, we meet socialists whose faith led them to a politics grounded in democracy, justice, and equity. Look to this book for backstory, for inspiration, for affirmation. Then give a copy to a friend.”—Maxine Phillips, co-editor, religioussocialism.org, retired executive editor, Dissent magazine
“Fran Quigley has written the right book for the right reasons at the right time—for all time. The profiles are courageous and true; the socialism of the Gospel has and will continue to stand the test of time. This joyful, righteous book will be read and digested and upon its publication will find its way into seminary and divinity school classrooms worldwide. The endorsement from this Christian Socialist is full-throated and glad-hearted. Thank you, Professor Quigley!”—Rev. Dr. Angela Cowser, Associate Dean of Black Church Studies and Doctor of Ministry programs, Louisville Seminary
“Fran Quigley's Religious Socialism is a wonderful introduction to a subject that will seem distant and even hostile to many religious people. The mixture of personal vignettes, photos, and particular explorations of socialism by people of faith, become ever more relevant as they approach the present, with convincing witnesses of a new, potential enlightenment in socialism and religion.”—Paul Buhle, retired Senior Lecturer, Brown University, editor, Radical Jesus: A Graphic History of Faith
“People come to socialism for different reasons, and for many it is through their faith. How can we feed the hungry and heal the sick when someone is making profits by preventing it? This book explores the rich history of religious thinkers standing with the working class against exploitation by the owning class.”--Maria Svart, National Director, Democratic Socialists of America
For most of this nation’s history, religious socialists made their case to a population that was, for the most part, hospitable to religion and resistant to socialism. Today, those trends are moving in opposite directions. A majority of young people and persons of color in the U.S. express support for socialism. At the same time, even as religious affiliation has dropped, most Americans still say religion is important to them.
Religious Socialism provides an introduction to how those powerful forces come together in the form of religious socialism, the intersection between a devotion to God and a system that promotes social justice in the world. Many of its champions would embrace the words of Eugene Debs, who ran for president several times on the Socialist ticket: "Socialism is Christianity in action.” Most of the figures in this book are Christian, including contemporary figures like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Cornel West, but others profiled are Jewish, Buddhist, and Muslim socialists.
Fran Quigley is a former journalist, now teaching as professor at Indiana University McKinney School of Law, where he directs the Health and Human Rights Clinic. He is an active member of the Religion and Socialism Working Group of the Democratic Socialists of America, where he contributes to and helps edit their blog and podcast.