Shane Claiborne

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Shane Claiborne
Shane Claiborne speaking in 2007
BornShane Claiborne
(1975-07-11) July 11, 1975 (age 45)
East Tennessee
OccupationWriter, public speaker
Genre Christianity
Literary movement New Monasticism
Notable works The Irresistible Revolution (2006)
Katie Jo Brotherton
(m. 2011)

Shane Claiborne (born July 11, 1975) is a Christian activist and author who is a leading figure in the New Monasticism movement and one of the founding members of the non-profit organization, The Simple Way, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [1] [2] Claiborne is also a social activist, advocating for nonviolence and service to the poor. He is the author of the book, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical . [3]



Claiborne grew up in east Tennessee. [4] His father, who was a Vietnam War veteran, died when Shane was 9 years old. A graduate of Eastern University, where he studied sociology and youth ministry, Claiborne did his final academic work for Eastern University at Wheaton College in Illinois. While at Wheaton, Claiborne did an internship at Willow Creek Community Church. He has done some graduate work at Princeton Theological Seminary, but took a leave of absence, and now is a part of The Alternative Seminary in Philadelphia. [5]

Claiborne worked alongside Mother Teresa during a 10-week term in Calcutta. [6] He has written about how his work with Mother Teresa impacted him and made him realize the need to support a consistent life ethic, to protect all human life from conception to natural death. [7] He spent three weeks in Baghdad with the Iraq Peace Team (IPT), a project of Voices in the Wilderness and Christian Peacemaker Teams. [8] He was witness to the military bombardment of Baghdad as well as the militarized areas between Baghdad and Amman. As a member of IPT, Claiborne took daily trips to sites where there had been bombings, visited hospitals and families, and attended worship services during the war. He also continues to serve as a board member for the nationwide Christian Community Development Association which was founded by the authors and community developers, John Perkins and Wayne Gordon. [9]

On June 20, 2007, a seven-alarm fire at the abandoned warehouse across the street destroyed The Simple Way Community Center where Claiborne lived. [10] He lost all of his possessions in the fire. [10] The Simple Way immediately set up funds to accept donations to help those who lost their homes in the fire. [11]

Claiborne is featured in the documentary The Ordinary Radicals , and co-directed the three volume Another World is Possible DVD series. Claiborne wrote the foreword to Ben Lowe's 2009 book Green Revolution: Coming Together to Care for Creation.

In 2011 he has appeared as both a guest and co-host of the TV show "Red Letter Christians" with Tony Campolo. [12] That year also, he declared his unwillingness to pay taxes to fund U.S. military activity. He withheld a portion of his income taxes meant to correspond to the percentage of the federal budget spent on the military, donating that money instead to charity. He wrote a public letter to the Internal Revenue Service to explain his decision. [13]

On May 7, 2011, Shane Claiborne married Katie Jo Brotherton. [14]

On January 26, 2016, he released his first solo book in ten years, Executing Grace - How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It's Killing Us. It makes a case for the abolition of the death penalty through social and spiritual arguments, and received praise from John Perkins, Philip Yancey and Desmond Tutu, among others. [15]


See also

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<i>The Irresistible Revolution</i>

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The Simple Way is a non-profit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Shane Claiborne and five other Eastern University graduates founded an intentional community when they moved into a terraced house in the neighborhood of Kensington in January 1998. They purposely started the community in the poorest area of the city, which was a place where there were no existing local churches. They did not apply for funding from mission agencies. Since then, the community has transitioned into a local non-profit. Current activities of The Simple Way include planting gardens, running a store, and working for food security in the neighborhood. When a law was passed that prohibited distribution of food on streets in the city, The Simple Way avoided breaking the new law by instead distributing the Eucharist, which is not considered food after it has been blessed. The community is part of the New Monasticism movement.

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  1. "How to Derail the New Monasticism An Interview with Shane Claiborne". Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  2. "The New Monasticism | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction". Christianity Today. February 9, 2005. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  3. "The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical: Shane Claiborne, Jim Wallis: 0025986266301: Books" . Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  4. "Shane Claiborne - Fundamentalism". YouTube. October 29, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  5. "Teachers/Facilitators". History and Mission. The Alternative Seminary. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  6. Archived June 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. "A New Pro-Life Movement - Consistent Life Blog". February 14, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  8. Goldberg, Michelle (April 24, 2003). "Dodging bombs for peace -". Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  9. "shane claiborne | Shane's Bio". the simple way. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  10. 1 2 "Their lives shattered after Kensington fire". June 23, 2007. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  11. "Nonprofit starts two relief funds for fire victims". June 22, 2007. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  12. "RLC on TV - Red Letter Christians". Red Letter Christians. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  13. “My Easter Letter to the IRS” Huffington Post April 11, 2011
  14. Althoff, Allison. "Shane & Katie Claiborne: A Love Story". Christianity Today. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  15. Executing Grace official site
  16. "Shane Claiborne - Letter to Non-Believers by Shane Claibourne". Esquire. November 18, 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2011.