Thursday, August 04, 2005

Spirituality in the Workplace, Part I

Is northwest Arkansas the new hub of business and global commerce, as a recent MSNBC article reports? And if so, what’s going on? Welcome to the 21st century, in which the weird convergence of religious fundamentalism and globalization has become the most important socio-cultural event of our lifetimes. The article is about the “faith and work” movement, which is basically a mushrooming reciprocity between the American sub-cultures of church and business. Churches have adopted the corporate model of targeted marketing and strategic growth, while businesses have openly proclaimed themselves as Christian-friendly, or Christ-centered, etc., both to their customers and to their employees. The theological rationale is, depending on how you look at it, either a hymn to post-modern pluralism or a parody of it (which in the age of Bush are virtually indistinguishable anyway,) focusing on the need for spiritual authenticity in all aspects of life and on the right of self-expression and solidarity which Christians share on an equal basis with every other cultural and religious sub-group in the global (post-democratic) market-place. For my money, a close look at this reasoning reveals both an indispensable insight into the spiritual dimensions of globalization, and an oversight based on a misunderstanding of the relationship between science (broadly construed) and religion. Both are highly significant. The insight ought to be shared with all Christians as a calling and an opportunity. The oversight should lead to a focused debate between the new breed of market-based, non-denominational evangelicals on the one hand and the traditional mainline and Catholic polities on the other.

1 comment:

Sheila Huerta said...

Awesome post. I really learned a lot. It sounds very similar to concepts in a book that I've been able to preview before it is published. The book is called Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel. You can learn more about it here: It will be published in May. Feel free to contact Leila if you might be interested in reviewing it for your blog.