Christian Spirituality at Burning Man

Many people have found a week of creativity and community in the desert to be a spiritual experience, but not always one associated with organized religion.  Here are a few examples of Burning Man attendees, or “Burners,” who find parallels between their experiences in the desert and the philosophy of the Gospels.

Pastor Phil Wyman’s Blog

Christian Scientist Michael Morgan’s “We Are All Prophets

Interview with Lee Gilmore, author of Theater in a Crowded Fire: Ritual and Spirituality at Burning Man


What do Burning Man and Godspell have in common?

Among the 10 Principles of Burning Man are some that connect directly to our show:

  • radical inclusion
  • radical self-expression
  • communal effort
  • participation
  • immediacy

While not one of the ten principles as written in 2004, revelry is also an important part of Burning Man that connects to one of Tebelak’s inspirations for Godspell, Harvey Cox’s Feast of Fools.

Here’s a talk from TEDxTokyo on Burning Man:

Spirituality & Community-Building Through Burning Man

Burning Man creates a city in a desert every year that lasts for a week, and then is completely removed. Among the many structures that Burners erect for the week of Burning Man each year are temples. The Huffington Post looks at ten years of temples and the spirituality of Burning Man that they reveal.

It’s an hour long, but this panel is full of great discussion of the different ways that Burning Man, and groups influenced by Burning Man, create and nurture communities.

A Community of Outcasts in the Desert

Here’s a gallery of images that show many sides, not of the characters in Godspell, but of Burning Man. Like Olney’s Godspell, Burning Man is about the formation of a community, intact only briefly but with long-ranging impact on its members. While Burning Man didn’t exist when Godspell was first produced, its cultivation of creativity and free-spiritedness is a good match for the hippie culture with which Godspell is associated. If you’re interested in a scholarly look at spirituality and ritual at Burning Man, check out Lee Gilmore’s book on the subject.