In June 2020, the Federalist ran a piece titled “You Can Be a Christian, You Can Be a Marxist, but You Can't Be Both” (The Federalist, June 11, 2020). For many Americans, on both the Left and Right, this likely rings more or less true. When Christian conservatives rail against the Movement for Black Lives, sojourn for the stranger, social justice in churches, not to mention care for the poor, American Christianity can appear hopelessly co-opted by racism, nationalism, and capitalism. At the same time, many Christians perceive progressive politics to be godless, or at least fatally materialist.

Spiritual Socialists offers an encouraging reminder that these assumptions about progressivism and Christianity are not, and never have been, true. In eloquent prose, Vaneesa Cook traces a lineage of faithful socialists from World War I to the present, folks who pressed for social reforms not despite their spiritual convictions but...

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