The mission of the Institute for Christian Socialism is to support followers of Jesus in confronting the world’s captivity to capitalism and in claiming, embodying, and promoting the radical socialism of the Gospel.
This mission is rooted in the conviction — absent among both conservative and progressive Christians — that the Gospel of Jesus is irreconcilable with capitalism’s intrinsically anti-social logics and effects and thus demands Christian participation in new forms of political economy. The rapid reclamation of socialist thought and practice today is being driven largely by intellectual and organizing energies separate from organized Christianity.
We recognize, therefore, the need to awaken among followers of Jesus an awareness of and commitment to the socialism that is inherent to the Gospel, to invite Christian contributions to socialist debates and proposals, and to foster opportunities for mutual engagement and organized action toward the realization of shared aims. Ultimately, we seek the creation of a new society marked by the interdependent health of our common earth, the shared enjoyment of our common wealth, and the just participation of all in our common social and political life.
This situates ICS at the intersection of internal power-building within the Christian left and external movement-organizing across the broader political left. In our rejection of capitalism as antithetical to just and life-sustaining relations and our advocacy for socialist forms of political economy aligned with the Gospel, ICS is necessarily committed to the work of anti-racism, participatory democracy, feminism, ecological regeneration, queer liberation, anti-fascism, indigenous sovereignty, and related emancipatory struggles.
Our mission is to support US churches, their members, and institutions in confronting the world’s captivity to capitalism and in claiming, embodying, and promoting the radical socialism of the Christian faith and life.
We seek God’s new creation of a society marked by the interdependent health of our common earthly home, the shared enjoyment of our common wealth, and the just participation of all in our common social and political life together.
Those co-working to realize ICS’s mission as members and partners are committed to the values of:
- deep solidarity among all those laboring for a more just society
- Non-hierarchical, co-equal, and cooperative working relationships
- Democratic governance and decision-making
- Anti-oppressive, non-supremacist, and non-discriminatory practices, logics, and behavior
- The just sharing of value/goods generated through work
- Non-violent, transparent, and direct communication
- A spirit of camaraderie, trust, mutuality, and goodwill in interactions among internal and external partners, including through digital media communications
- The non-competitive support and promotion of individuals, organizations, and initiatives aligned with our mission and vision
- Deep ecumenism, which avoids all forms of Christian chauvinism — both toward those who belong to Christian communities other than one’s own and those outside Christianity altogether.
The Institute for Christian Socialism activates and equips US Christians and churches for the work of education, resistance, and constructive transformation through:
The Bias Magazine: The premiere voice of the Left in American Christianity and of Christian socialism within Left politics. Cutting across the routine conventions of the Church and religious academy, we are the distinctive radical and ecumenical voice on politics, culture, economy, and environment. The Bias publishes a print edition twice a year, with digital content appearing every week. In addition to digital and print media, The Bias will produce podcasts, and hopes in the near future to develop documentaries on aspects of radical Christian politics, figures, and movements.
Solidarities Project: ICS will assist in promoting and organizing existing and emergent projects aimed at concrete manifestations of the socialism of the Gospel in our time, from local congregational experiments in regenerative land commons or alternative currencies, for example, to denominational debt forgiveness initiatives to broad-based coalition building around the passage of socially-just and life-sustaining public policies. The vision and organizing power of these projects will arise from ICS members, organizational partners, and movement leaders.
Radical/Christian Convivia: ICS is not only committed to promoting knowledge of Christian socialism within churches, but also to building camaraderie and facilitating dialogue between Christian socialists and the broader Leftist tradition and its organizations. These convivia will bring thinkers and leaders of the Christian Left together with thinkers and leaders of the secular Left for mutual understanding, transformation, and cooperation.
Radical Religion Book Series: ICS will produce a series of books considering the place of religion in Leftist politics. The series aims both to publish works by radical religious authors, many of which are obscure or have fallen out of print, and to encourage the secular Left to reconsider the vital contribution of religion, and Christian socialism in particular, to its cause.
Fellows Program: ICS intends to name a selection of individuals to serve as the public, intellectual face of the Institute at the intersection of religious practice, politics and public policy. These fellows will be responsible for thinking through the most important political, economic, and social issues of our time in distinctive religious and theological terms.