Joerg & Tripp will facilitate our feature sessions that include a lecture, conversation, and QnA
We will host 3 webinars featuring scholars, organizers, and activists working for deeper solidarity and justice
Everyone will be invited to join the private online group to connect with other nerds and have access to everything in Audio/Video on the class resource page
Throughout the history of religion, faith and economics have been deeply intertwined. While narrow modern ideas of religion have prevented us from exploring this connection, repeated and worsening economic disasters challenge us to take another look. Using the example of Christianity, Tripp Fuller and Joerg Rieger will discuss how the structures of dominant capitalist economies deeply influence religion and faith, exploring what contributions religion and faith might make in the search for alternatives.
Session 1: We Know We’re Being Screwed (So Why Do We Keep Going?)
Deep down, more and more people are realizing that the capitalist economy is no longer working in their favor if it ever has. So why do they keep supporting it? What are the alternatives, and how might religion become part of the solution rather than of the problem?
Session 2: For the Bible Tells Us So, Or: Class Struggle and Religion
The sacred texts of the Abrahamic traditions are more deeply interwoven with work and economics than is often recognized. The Exodus narratives, shared by Jews, Christians, and Muslims have inspired alternative economies for thousands of years. The same is true for some of the traditions that uphold a Jesus of the working majority.
Session 3: Religion Reshaping Desire from the Bottom Up - Beyond Moralizing
It has been claimed that there is no alternative to current economic arrangements, as human desire is insatiable. Some religious traditions disagree and promote other ways of dealing with desire. The transformation of desire is a momentous task that goes deeper than proclaiming moral precepts or making ethical appeals.
Session 4: Charity, Advocacy, and Deep Solidarity: From Distribution to Production
Efforts to help others and to speak out for them are time-honored ways in which religious communities have tried to make a difference. As these models keep running into problems, deep solidarity presents another paradigm that moves religious engagement to the next level.
Session 5: Interrelated Democracies: Economic, Political, and Religious
In the United States, democracy often stops at work or in religious communities. How can we reclaim democratic relationships in all areas of life? Some evidence suggests that economic democracy—the form of democracy that is arguably least developed—can become a game-changer.
Session 6: The Secret Lives of the Working Majority: What You Always Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask Other People of Faith
Why are people of faith talking about anything and everything but what is happening at the places where they spend the bulk of their waking hours? Relationships at work shape us deeply, and often for the worse, due to power differentials, glass ceilings, and arcane rules. How can the 99 percent of us that have to work for a living reclaim work for the better, enhancing agency and creativity for the benefit of the community rather than for the profit of the few?
Joerg Rieger is Distinguished Professor of Theology and the Cal Turner Chancellor’s Chair of Wesleyan Studies. He is also the founding director of the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice.
For three decades he has worked to bring together theology and the struggles for justice and liberation that mark our age. His work addresses relations of theology and public life, reflecting on the misuse of power in religion, politics, and economics. His interest is in movements that bring about change and in the positive contributions of religion and theology. His constructive work in theology draws on a wide range of historical and contemporary traditions, with a concern for manifestations of the divine in the pressures of everyday life. Several of his 24 authored and edited books address the topics of this course, including No Rising Tide: Theology, Economics, and the Future; Unified We Are a Force: How Faith and Labor Can Overcome America’s Inequalities (with Rosemarie Henkel-Rieger); and Faith, Class, and Labo: Intersectional Approaches in a Global Context (with Jin Young Choi). www.joergrieger.com/.
University of Edinburgh
Dr. Fuller is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Theology & Science at the University of Edinburgh. He recently released Divine Self-Investment: a Constructive Open and Relational Christology, the first book in the Studies in Open and Relational Theology series. For over 12 years Tripp has been doing the Homebrewed Christianity podcast (think on demand internet radio) where he interviews different scholars about their work so you can get nerdy in traffic, on the treadmill or doing the dishes. Last year it had over 3.5 million downloads. It also inspired a book series with Fortress Press called the Homebrewed Christianity Guides to... topics like God, Jesus, Spirit, Church History etc. Tripp is a very committed and (some of his friends think overly ) engaged Lakers fan and takes Star Wars and Lord of the Rings very seriously.
The class is asynchronous and you can participate fully without being present at any specific time. The weekly streaming session will take place on Tuesdays at 5pm eastern. (3/16, 3/23, 3/30, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20)
The complete class content collection will be available on the password protected resource page. The downloadable audio and video of each session will be uploaded there and available for at least a year.
The email you enter when signing up will receive an email from tripp[at]homebrewedchristianity[dot]com. The email will include access to the resource page, details on how to join the class Facebook group, and more.
No. Facebook is not required to participate, but an additional way to connect with other class members and interact throughout the class.
Throughout our time together we will participate in three powerful webinars. Here you will be invited to hear from different scholars, organizers, and activists who are deeply committed to a more just world. The webinar series "Engaging Christianities and Socialisms" is being organized by the Wendland-Cook program in Religion and Justice at Vanderbilt Divinity School and the Institute for Christian Socialism. The webinars will take place on March 8, April 22, and May 10th. You can learn a bit more about who is joining Dr. Rieger in the first webinar below.
Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is a Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.
He has written 20 books and has edited 13. He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent book, Black Prophetic Fire, offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies.
Angela Cowser is the Associate Dean of Black Church Studies and Doctor of Ministry programs; Associate Professor of Black Church Studies at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She began her service at Louisville Seminary in August 2018. She previously served as Director of the Center for the Church and the Black Experience and Assistant Professor of Sociology of Religion at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Chicago, Illinois).
She was ordained as a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Minister of Word and Sacrament in 2006. Her publications include Radicalizing Women-Centered Organizing and Power in Post-Conflict Namibia: A Case Study of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (Saarbrucken: Scholars Press, 2013), “Leadership Amidst Poverty: A Mixed Methodological Analysis of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia” (Journal of African American Studies, 2017), and other articles.