chapter
11 Pages

Introduction

Christianity in its beginnings was without doubt a movement of impoverished classes of the most varied kinds, which may be named by the common term "proletarians", provided this expression be understood as meaning not only wage-workers. Our proletarian point of view will permit us to grasp more easily than bourgeois investigators those phases of primitive Christianity which it has in common with the modern proletarian movement. The traditional conception of history views political movements only as the struggle to bring about certain specific political institutions Monarchy, Aristocracy, Democracy which in turn are represented as the result of specific ethical concepts and aspirations. The common view regards history as a chart for him who navigates the sea of political activity; this chart must indicate the cliffs and shallows on which previous mariners have come to grief, and enable their successors to sail the seas with impunity.