Jesus Radicals is a collaborative effort: our site is made up of a team of regular contributors, an editorial board that reviews reader-submitted articles, a collective of co-hosts that develop the Iconocast podcast, an annual conference planning group, and a few forums administrators.
Our primary focus is to explore the theologically practical politics of a Jesus-centered life and how that way of life may benefit from a critical engagement with anarchist political stances (defined broadly as a commitment to critique of all forms of domination). To that end we have a theology section that includes the most comprehensive collection of articles by Jacques Ellul anywhere in the world, as well as other radical theologians with anarchic tendencies. We have content that explains a variety of anarchist stances on issues including (but not limited to) economics, policing, and war. And, since our place within creation is largely ignored within Christian theology and classical anarchist politics, we explore our relationship with the environment, as well as human relationships with non-human animals.
All of this is augmented by a steady flow of articles, a biweekly podcast, a community forum, and an annual gathering.
Jesus Radicals is a network of Christians who are also anarchists. The website began in 2000 as a way to communicate a group of evangelical college students’ experiences being arrested at the School of the Americas, where the U.S. trains assassins. Nekeisha and Andy were the primary people behind the site at the time, and after it outlived its usefulness for that protest, we morphed the site into primarily a library of out-of-print works of Jacques Ellul along with a discussion forum.
In 2003, as a response to our Mennonite congregation’s discussions of Christianity and politics, Nekeisha and Andy helped organize the site’s first anarchism and Christianity conference in New York City. But instead of a local congregational discussion, the gathering turned into something that people came from as far as the Midwest to attend. Since that time we have organized yearly gatherings to discuss the connections between anarchism and Christianity. For the past 5 years, a small group of people plan the conference.
In 2010, Mark Van Steenwyk proposed that the work he and a few others were doing at www.jesusmanifesto.com could be united into the Jesus Radicals website. Beginning in 2007, Jesus Manifesto was a multiple-editor webzine that focused particularly on the anti-imperial nature of the Gospel. In effect this meant taking the best of Jesus Manifesto’s reader driven essays and innovative interviews with leading activists and theologians and combining it with Jesus Radicals’ static content, discussion forums and annual conferences. This also means that Jesus Radicals shifted beyond a website ran solely by Nekeisha and Andy.
Who We Are
Nekeisha Alexis-Baker is currently the general editor of reader submissions and invited essays. Nekeisha, Mark Van Steenwyk, and Brett Gershon help to gather regular contributors. The Iconocast is hosted by a variety of folks including Sarah Lynne Anderson, Jarrod McKenna, Joanna Shenk, and Mark Van Steenwyk, and is co-produced by Mark Van Steenwyk and Orrin Pratt of Sangha Studios. The conference planning team changes on a yearly basis, but always includes Nekeisha.
The website also hosts several international sites including the South Pacific Christian Anarchists, and a space for UK Christians to augment their own organizing efforts around the themes of this site.
As a network, rather than an organization, Jesus Radicals has no membership, no dues or fees. We are people who sometimes live close to one another, sometimes far apart, but who stay connected both on and offline and have a broadly shared commitment to anarchic Christian faith.