Shane Claiborne —
A Monastic Revolution

Shane Claiborne is a leading spirit in a gathering movement of young people known as the New Monastics. Emerging from the edges of Evangelical Christianity, they are patterning their lives in response to the needs of the poor -- and the detachment they see in our culture's vision of adulthood.

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Guests

is a founding member of The Simple Way faith community and author of The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical.

Pertinent Posts

Video Interviews with Krista Tippett

Selected Readings

Yeast of the Pharisees (Room for Grace)

Christianity can be built around isolating ourselves from evildoers and sinners, creating a community of religious piety and moral purity. Christianity tan also be built around joining with the broken sinners and evildoers of our world crying out to God, groaning for grace. Bath are magnetic and contagious.

The Whispers of Troublemakers

A few years ago, Philadelphia chose to inaugurate its Sidewalk Behavior Ordinance (which criminalized homelessness by making it illegal to lie or sit extensively on sidewalks) on Martin Luther King Day. Define irony.

Downward Mobility in an Upscale World

The vision of Jesus is not spread through organizational structures, but through touch, breath, shared life. It is spread through people who have discovered love.

Selected Audio

Selected segments from the unedited interview with Shane Claiborne

Listen to selected audio clips from Krista's complete unedited interview with Shane Claiborne.

About the Image

The large number of vacant houses in the Kensington neighborhood of North Philadelphia is an issue for residents living there. If they remain unboarded, the houses become "shooting dens" for drug users, specifically, heroin addicts. Here, Justin, in the basement of The Simple Way community house, paints artwork on a piece of plywood that will board a door of an abandoned house.

(photo: Robert Terrell)

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Reflections

I do not own a TV. In fact, it has been over 15 years since I watched anything on TV. Instead I am a long-time radio listener and your show rates at the top of my list. I love Sundays because I spend the morning and afternoon in my temple (Bhakti temple in NYC) and then I come home to listen to my favorite shows on the radio and yours is the last one I listen to before my evening meditation. I have loved and savored so many of them: the one with Desmond Tutu was incredible as well as all the work that you are doing based on Einstein. This interview with Shane was mind-blowing. I was riveted and this morning I went back to listen to the uncut version. I found myself transported to another place in time and nodding over and over again — yes that's it exactly!

I grew up in the 50's and 60's and my father was a Methodist minister who also became a civil rights activist in Detroit during this time as inspired by such great leaders such as Martin Luther King. I went to peace marches with my family and fasted with them as a protest to the Vietnam War. All of this shaped me greatly. My father did experience burnout during this period and also became bitter and disgruntled with the church. He left his ministry to become a teacher in the inner city and also left our family. This experience had a negative effect on me. I really felt a huge disconnect from my Christian faith and the church and also family life. This struggle sent me seeking answers in the arts, working and living the frenetic and passionate life as a professional dancer. Eventually I moved to New York and left the dance world and my own relationship of ten years. I also found myself bitter and disgruntled with this world that I lived in and had created, which appeared as very egocentric and narcissistic. Out of desperation and lonesomeness I searched wholeheartedly for a connection to love, life, and God.

This took many forms, paths, and trials such as living in the Anthroposophic community in Spring Valley, New York; living in Kenya studying music and creating a community based project; and working in the Brooklyn Children's Museum Youth Alive program. I also got involved with a Sufi community here in NYC and then went back to school to finish a degree in Chinese Medicine.

I am now 56 and have finally found a community and teacher who has inspired and rekindled this longing for relationship, family, love, compassion, leadership, social action, education, science, healing, caring, humility, selfless service, and devotion. This is what I have found in the Bhakti Yoga practice of Krishna Consciousness as fostered by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This is why the interview with Shane spoke to me, how exciting that this is really happening across the globe, and in my ways, and through many faiths. I am eager to share his writing with members in my own community.

Thank you for this excellent work you do. I am grateful to people like you and Shane and my guru Radhanath Swami Maharaj. This is a powerful time, perhaps even stronger then the 60's because of exactly what Shane said, the fragility of the planet. We can either turn away in fear and apathy or we can face the world and the terror with love, humility, devotion and eagerness to act out of this place.

Thanks so much for this interview. I have become so jaded from political churches/pastors that miss the whole message of Christ. Shane's actions and works have been like water in a desert. They are motivating me to get out in the world and do and live more. Having grown up in Philly, his work has even more meaning for me. Thanks again!

For me, his story reinforced what it means to live in community — how much it can shape, shift, and challenge you to grow and strive to be a better version of yourself. Thanks for doing the interview!

Shane has given me hope for our troubled world. I have been working for social justice for 30 years and was beginning to think it was hopeless — but now I will keep working.

It is so inspiring to hear someone talk about what Christianity is all about: transformative love, equality, and justice. I was raised in an extremely conservative right-wing Evangelical culture and struggle to communicate Jesus' social justice teachings to my family. When I left the church, I dedicated myself to service and have since begun community organizing. People like Shane bring me such joy because I know that, even if I can't go to church, I can still practice the biblical values which are so close to my heart.

Shane reaffirmed to me that there are others out there in this world also trying to focus on love and not fear. God has been given a bad name by people doing all sorts of things while they invoke his name. But these people continue to be loved by God and they deserve our love as well.

My desire is to look on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings and all events, without the slightest fading of the light of God. I feel that Shane might relate.

Thanks so much for this interview. I have become so jaded from political churches/pastors that miss the whole message of Christ. Shane's actions and works have been like water in a desert. They are motivating me to get out in the world and do/live more. Having grown-up in Philly, his work has even more meaning for me. Thanks again!

Shane reaffirmed to me that there are others out there in this world also trying to focus on love and not fear. God has been given a bad name by people doing all sorts of things while they invoke his name. But these people continue to be loved by God and they deserve our love as well. My desire is to look on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings and all events, without the slightest fading of the light of God. I feel that Shane might relate.

It is so inspiring to hear someone talk about what Christianity is all about: transformative love, equality and justice. I was raised in an extremely conservative right wing Evangelical culture, and struggle to communicate Jesus' social justice teachings to my family. When I left the church I dedicated myself to service and have since begun community organizing. People like Shayne bring me such joy because I know that, even if I can't go to church I can still practice the Biblical values which are so close to my heart.

I do not own a TV, in fact it has been over 15 years since I watched any thing on TV. Instead I am a long time radio listener and your show rates at the top of my list. I love Sundays because I spend the morning and afternoon in my temple (Bhakti temple in NYC) and then I come home to listen to my favorite shows on the radio and yours is the last one I listen to before my evening meditation. i have loved and savored so many of them, the one with Desmond Tutu was incredible as well as all the work that you are doing based on Einstien This interview with Shane was mind blowing. I was riveted and this morning i went back to listen to the uncut version. I found myself transported to another place in time and nodding over and over again-yes thats it exactly!

I grew up in the 50's and 60's and my father was a Methodist minister who also became a civil rights activist in Detroit during this time as inspired by such great leaders such as Martin Luther King. I went to peace marches with my family, and fasted with them as a protest to the Vietnam war, all of this shaped me greatly. My father did experience burnout during this period and also became bitter and disgruntled with the church. He left his ministry to become a teacher in the inner city and also left our family. This experience had a negative effect on me. I really felt a huge disconnect from my Christian faith and the church and also family life. This struggle sent me seeking answers in the arts working and living the frenetic and passionate life as a professional dancer. Eventually I moved to NY and left the dance world and my own relationship of ten years. I also found myself bitter and disgruntled with this world that I lived in and had created which appeared as very egocentric and narcissistic. Out of desperation and lonesomeness I searched whole heartedly for a connection to love, life and God.

This took many forms and paths trials such as, living in the Anthroposophic community in Spring Valley NY, living in Kenya studying music and creating a community based project, and working in the Brooklyn Children's Museum Youth Alive program. I also got involved with a Sufi community here in NYC and then went back to school to finish a degree in Chinese Medicine.

I am now 56 and have finally found a community and teacher who has inspired and rekindled this longing for relationship, family, love, compassion, leadership, social action, education, science, healing, caring, humility, selfless service and devotion. This is what I have found in the Bhakti Yoga practice of Krishna Consciousness as fostered by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This is why the interview with Shane spoke to me, how exciting that this is really happening across the globe, and in my ways, and through many faiths. I am eager to share his writing with members in my own community.

Thank you for this excellent work you do, I am grateful to people like you and Shane and my guru Radhanath Swami Maharaj. This is a powerful time, perhaps even stronger then the 60's because of exactly what Shane said, the fragility of the planet. We can either turn away in fear and apathy or we can face the world and the terror with love, humility, devotion and eagerness to act out of this place.

Bravo to you and again many thanks for your commitment to this program and all that it does, you are making a difference.

Much love and appreciation

Shakura Willoughby

Shane has given me hope for our troubled world. I have been working for social justice for 30 years and was beginning to think it was hopeless - but now I will keep working.

For me his story reinforced what it means to live "in community", how much it can shape, shift and challenge you to grow and strive to be a better version of yourself. Thanks for doing the interview!

Your uplifting interview with Shane Claiborne has life-changing implications for me at least--much as reading Tolstoy's "The Gospel In Brief" and how he was subsequently impacted. A sort of metanoia occurred as I was listening to the podcast while taking my morning walk. Being originally from the same geographical "buckle-on-the Bible-belt" area of East Tennessee and having worked in Philadelphia the whole interview resonated powerfully. I now must get his book (after I finish "Einstein's God")!
Thank you so much, Krista, and keep up the good work.
Bill

I think at the end of the day, my question always is "Would any of these white people committed to such works of good, be willing to beget children with a black person or indigenous central americans (i.e. the majority of so called 'latinos' in this country)." I think we still are not having honest discussions about race and why, quite frankly, most white people don't desire it. So let's talk about it, honestly.

At the end of the day the question is about race and yet this is rarely talked about on this show in a profound, meaningful way.

This is why I converted to Christianity in the first place. If this had been available when I was 15, my life would have turned out okay.
People! Please reproduce this everywhere. Build it! They will come!
<3

I forgot to mention in the survey that this is one of my favorite episodes of On Being!