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Shane Claiborne

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Shane Claiborne speaking in 2007

Shane Claiborne (born 1975) is one of the founding members of a New Monastic community named the Potter Street Community (formerly The Simple Way) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This organization was featured on the cover of Christianity Today. Claiborne is also a prominent activist for nonviolence and the redistribution of resources to the poor.

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.

Claiborne's outlook on ministry to the poor is often compared to Mother Teresa, whom he worked alongside with during a 10-week term in Calcutta. He spent 3 weeks in Baghdad with the Iraq Peace Team (a project of Voices in the Wilderness and Christian Peacemaker Teams). 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 nation-wide Christian Community Development Association which was founded by the authors and community developers, John Perkins and Wayne Gordon.[1]

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

Claiborne is featured in the documentary The Ordinary Radicals


Claiborne's books and views have come under criticism from some Evangelical Christians for his theology (which some have likened to the Social Gospel), his disdain of free market capitalism, his apparent support of socialism, and his radical political views.[1]


  • The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006) ISBN 0310266300
  • Iraq Journal 2003 (Doulos Christou, 2006) ISBN 0974479675
  • Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals, with Chris Haw (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008) ISBN 0310278422
  • Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers: Prayer for Ordinary Radicals, with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (InterVarsity, 2008) ISBN 0830836225


  1. ^ a b Shane Claiborne Biography.

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