For millennia, faith traditions have been innovating, adapting worship, theology, and social engagement to bring God to the people of different eras in a changing world and to meet the social needs of the times (see previous post, Remembering our innovative past: A look at the Catholic Church). Yet how rarely we talk about innovation as faith communities. We tend to consider it a value and expertise of the business or technology sectors, sectors we also tend to view with some skepticism. But the world is changing more rapidly than ever before, and the challenges driving social needs today are becoming more complex. We can’t afford not to talk about this. And, well, innovate accordingly.
In this new article in eJewish philanthropy, Rabbi Yehuda Sarna and Dr. Nir Tsuk of the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University give us a starting point, discussing how without innovation, there is no organization.
In his 2016 book, Christian Social Innovation, Greg Jones of Duke Divinity similarly helps us imagine how social innovation rooted in hope can help us renew our institutions and purpose.