I'm the author of Monoculture: How One Story is Changing Everything (Red Clover, 2011). I write about big ideas, culture, creativity, and the interaction of complex systems.
Posts tagged "religion"

Here’s a good example of the kind of reasoning that is becoming common in religious circles.

According to the Canadian Anglican Journal (the national newspaper of the Anglican Church of Canada), Italian economics professor Luigino Bruni, addressing a gathering organized by the Lutheran World Federation on Christian-Muslim dialogue, says churches have “failed to promote ‘systematic study of economics and economic policies.’”

"It is dangerous for the churches to be alienated from the economic sphere," Bruni told ENInews in an interview. "One of the key elements in the present world is economics that determines the life of the world. But churches seems to keep away from trying to understand the complexities of the new economic mechanism," added Bruni.

"The churches have not bothered to study it seriously as they have done with regard to morality and philosophy," he said. "It is not enough that they make wishful statements in conferences."

"Churches can make statements on social concerns. But do they have expertise to suggest banking reforms to cure what is ailing the market?" he asked. Economics should be made a part of the curriculum in seminaries and theological colleges and it should be given prominence like the study of morality and philosophy, he added.

Classic monoculture. Classic rise of the economic story - where even in religion, economics “should be given equal prominence” to morality and philosophy because of the “dangers” of being “alienated from the economic sphere.”

The monoculture is found, of course, in the intersection between religion and social services. Churches are often involved in humanitarian work of one kind or another, but that focus on humanitarian work is, in some cases, taking on a decidedly economic twang, where profit - not a religious value like caring for the oppressed or looking after widows and orphans - becomes the pinnacle of humanitarian achivement.

Here’s an example of a relatively well-known American pastor (voted one of the 50 Leaders Under the Age of 40 to Watch by Christianity Todayin 1996) talking about capitalism as a social change agent on his blog. This was posted back in 2003, when the US was at war with Iraq:

"Yet [x]’s a kindred spirit, as I myself am the self-styled leader of Urban Ministers for Free Market Capitalism and Globalization. There are many members of my little club, but just like the many coalition countries that anonymously back the US and Britain in the current conflict, many of my cohorts are not ready to go public with their belief that making a virtuous profit could be the most humanitarian thing we could do in other parts of the world."