We live in an era of transition between more stable ages. We face material choices now that will shape and serve our communities for long generations to come. Society is emerging in fits and starts from centuries of essentialism that defined people by race, gender, religion, and class into narrow identities with determined roles.
I lived my childhood
against the stained wallpaper of the Vietnam War. My children have lived theirs
against the gnawing realities of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it's
hard to believe that one of those wars is finally over.
Peter Sedgwick has provided a fine service in reviewing a vast number of sources related to economic life today, though the title of his book should have been Consumption, Work and Human Identity: A Treatise in Christian Anthropology.
Americans suffer from a debilitating disease that deadens the senses and causes people to panic and hoard. Persons of faith aren't immune to it. The disease is "affluenza" and one of its key symptoms is greed.
In the first issue of the magazine named the Christian Century, in January 1900, the editors said that their special interest was in “the application of Christian principles to character and social problems.” They also spoke of their hope to make the kingdom of God “a divine reality in human society.” This, of course, was what we know today as the “social gospel”—the attempt to move beyond individual piety to address broad social problems. What relevance does that social gospel vision have today?
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