history

We're not in the game: Religion and the data revolution

We're not in the game: Religion and the data revolution

During a recent layover, I was wandering the airport bookstore and spotted Yuval Noah Harari’s bestseller Sapiens. “Everyone’s reading this,” I thought. “Maybe I should, too.” But then I saw his follow-up book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, which I had never heard of but the title of which sold me immediately. … Harari makes some frustratingly sweeping and aggressive statements about religion that seem unnecessary to make his point. But behind them is a truth that institutions of faith need to confront: We’re becoming irrelevant because we’re not in the game. Our traditions may serve a purpose for a while - as sources of comfort in a chaotic world that we don’t really understand, where people like Harari are talking about the imminence of unfathomable things like superhumans and cyborgs. But if that’s the only purpose we’re serving, then we’ve already lost the long game.

Cooperatives: A new moment for an old idea?

Cooperatives: A new moment for an old idea?

The Trump era in the US has triggered a lot of angst over the state of our democracy. There is a lot of blame going around. Everyone expresses concern about our civil discourse. New efforts to understand, restore, and strengthen democratic institutions and the social capital that undergirds them emerge daily. At the same time, there is a lot of talk about the economic inequality that may or may not, depending on who you listen to, have led to our current political reality. … Could one solution lie in the centuries old concept of cooperatives—shared ownership/management organizations for workers, producers, or consumers—renewed for the modern era?

Remembering our innovative past: a look at the Catholic Church

Remembering our innovative past: a look at the Catholic Church

Faith communities, historically, have been responsible for some of the world's most significant social innovations. Many people today are asking, "what happened?" In this article in America Magazine, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry examines the Catholic Church in particular and doesn't hold back. What happened to the Church that introduced social welfare, the hospital, agricultural technology, and more world-changing innovations in Roman times and beyond? Have we lost our boldness of vision? Have we become complacent? Have we settled for good intentions? We are children of an abundantly creative God with a mandate to advance the transformative work of God here on earth. Are we acting like it?