Waldensians

From Anarchy In Action
Waldensian symbol Lux lucet in tenebris ("A light shines in the darkness"). Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldensians#/media/File:Waldenser-Wappen.jpg

Around 1170, a merchant named Peter Waldo sold his possessions and devoted his life to preaching. His preaching sparked a broad movement in what's now France and Italy. Because the Waldensians allowed lay people including women to be preachers, they were quickly called heretics by the Catholic Church and excommunicated in 1184.[1]

The Waldensians rejected private property and held possessions in common as the apostles did. They opposed the death penalty and held [2] and

Poetically using the present tense, Fredy Perlman describes medieval Waldensians' beliefs:

"The Waldensians reject all religious orders as worthless. They say the Pope and all his cardinals as well as the Emperor and all kings, dukes, princes and bourgeois magistrates are usurpers and imposters. They say the only Purgatory is the poverty in which so many people are forced to live. They say Christians are idolaters because they prostrate themselves to a cross and to images of saints."[3]

  1. "A History of the Waldensians," Musee Protestant, https://museeprotestant.org/en/notice/a-history-of-the-waldensians/.
  2. Federici, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation (New York: Autonomedia, 2004), 34, 56n.
  3. Fredy Perlman, Against His-story, Against Leviathan, retrieved from Anarchist Library, https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/fredy-perlman-against-his-story-against-leviathan.