Cornel West, economic, Gary Dorrien, market, Serene Jones

Faith, Justice, and the Economic Crisis

I’ve mentioned a couple of times a class called “Christianity and the U.S. Crisis” back at my old stomping grounds of Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

This tendency towards immediately dealing with the problems at hand is characteristically Union. But what has always concerned me is, even at a place with a tradition like Union, how can we get our voice heard?

Well, if you haven’t noticed, Union has a relationship of sorts with Bill Moyers. If I’m not mistaken, he attends Riverside Church, which is right next to Union, and is a church in a historically special relationship with Union as well. Judith and Bill Moyers were also awarded the Union medal a few years ago. James Cone, months before the Rev. Wright fiasco, was interviewed on the Journal. And when I was at Union, I saw Moyers visiting a few times.

Thankfully this special relationship continues. On Moyers’ Journal this coming Friday, the interview of Cornel West, Serene Jones, and Gary Dorrien, centered around their class, will be aired. You can see the preview here.

From Union’s website:

The professors presented strong positive critique of the Obama administration’s current bailout and restructuring plan, and called for real alternatives to the crumbling “religion of the market.”

“This is a society that has stoked and celebrated greed virtually to the point of self-destruction,” says Dorrien. “We can’t just go on saying, ‘Well, if we can just patch this thing up and get back to where we were,’ that things will be all right. And none of us believe that, so we also have to talk about what was wrong with the system to begin with, that had outcomes that you can’t really justify morally.”

Who are these three?

Cornel West should need no introduction.

Serene Jones has been president of Union for the past year. I hear she is an interesting feminist and a Calvin scholar. From seeing her interview lecture for the presidental office, she seems well positioned to lead Union and a good theologian in her own right.

Gary Dorrien was my advisor, but more importantly(!) I’ve heard from theologians across the spectrum that he is the one who could save liberal theology in America. And you know what? I believe them.

The point of all this? Here is a brief platform for strong and insightful (faith and) theology to be heard. Will the people in power hear it? Oh, I hope so, but even if they don’t, I do have faith in the ability of the local community to affect change around them, despite or in spite of policies in Washington. So watch it.

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4 thoughts on “Faith, Justice, and the Economic Crisis

  1. “Will the people in power hear it? Oh, I hope so,”

    Such people don’t give a shit what theologians have to say. Does your optimism know no bounds?

    If not for the impressive lineup, I’d suggest Union was wasting its time. It’s going to be some great viewing though. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Oh, I am there with you all the way that such people don’t give a shit, however, that isn’t the point. Whether the powerful like it or not, putting the criticism in the social milieu is an important step towards realizing some real, local change.

  2. Pingback: Bill Moyers Journal: Cornel West, Serene Jones, and Gary Dorrien Video « flying.farther

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