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A podcast about faith, work, theology, and economics

August 6, 2019

Episode 19 - Hard Work Never Killed Anyone, Part I: Subduing Death, Modernity’s Heroic Intent

In this episode of Ergasia, we begin an exploration of the book Hard Work Never Killed Anyone: How the Idolisation of Work Sustains this Deadly Lie, by John Bottomley, published by Morning Star Publishing in 2015. 

What are the beliefs that underpin modernity's construction of work and economy? How did these beliefs come into being? What is the role of ideology in this process? How are modernity's beliefs about work and what constitutes the legitimate spheres for the expression of human emotion sustained? These are the questions we explore as we start this new series.

References

Bottomley, John Hard Work Never Killed Anyone: How the Idolisation of Work Sustains this Deadly Lie. Northcote: Morning Star Publishing, 2015.

July 19, 2019

Ergasia Special Episode No.3: A Statement of Intent

In this episode of Ergasia Special, your host, Brendan Byrne, sets out his vision for the podcast as he continues to explore the intersection of faith and work. What are the essential elements which a theology of work must contain in order to be properly Christian? What are the traps and pitfalls it must avoid? What, afterall, is the point and purpose of this podcast and the issues it explores?

References

Bloomquist, Karen L The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

Byrne, Brendan E., "Work and Faith: the prophetic imperative. A response to Graham Hooper". Engage.Mail, Ethos Centre for Christianity and Society, located at http://www.ethos.org.au/online-resources/Engage-Mail/work-and-faith-the-prophetic-imperative

 

March 5, 2019

Episode 18 - The Dream Betrayed, Part VI: The Church As Community of Justice

In this episode of Ergasia, we conclude our exploration of the book The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class by Lutheran scholar Karen L Bloomquist. Having taken us through the dilemma faced by the working class under the oppressive reign of neoliberalism, and having likewise identified both the sin lying at the heart of that oppression as well as the Church's contribution to the betrayal of working class hopes, Bloomquist issues a call to the Church to become a community of resistance that enables the structural injustices of corporatist capitalism to be identified, challenged, and transformed.

References

Bloomquist, Karen L., The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class. Minneapolis; Fortress Press, 1990 

December 3, 2018

Episode 17 - The Dream Betrayed Part V: Redeeming Working Class Reality

In this episode of Ergasia we continue our exploration of the book The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class by Lutheran scholar Karen L Bloomquist. In this episode, Bloomquist considers the question of how the Church can proclaim the Gospel of God's redemption in way that takes into account the reality of working class oppression, and which empowers the working class to resist the structures of domination and injustice by which their lives are controlled.

References

The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

November 4, 2018

Episode 16: The Dream Betrayed, Part IV: The Dominance of Sin

In this episode of Ergasia, we continue our exploration of the book The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class by Karen L Bloomquist, published by Fortress Press. Bloomquist asks: what are the ways in which sin manifests itself in the structures of dominance and control that enslave working class life? How are these structures upheld by our conceptions of what sin is? And what is the relevance of the Gospel proclamation of grace, both to the realities of working class life and as a mechanism for liberation?

References

Bloomquist, Karen L The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

May 15, 2018

Episode 15 - The Dream Betrayed, Part III: Theological Perspectives For Addressing Class Realities

In this epsode of Ergasia, we continue our exploration of the book The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class by Karen L Bloomquist (Fortress Press, 1990). What are the theological perspectives that have attempted to address the realities of modernity and the dilemma of the working class? Is it even possible for theology to successfuly undertake this project? What are the counterveiling declarations about human life which are made by the idolatrous ideology of modernity?

References

Bloomquist, Karen L The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

March 27, 2018

Episode 14 - The Dream Betrayed, Part II: Religion and the Realities of Class

In this epsode of Ergasia, we continue our exploration of the book The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class by Karen L Bloomquist (Fortress Press). What are the ways in which the Church deepens the wounds of classism as they are inflicted by the failed dream of neoliberalism? What does the "religion" of the working class look like, and to what hopes and griefs does it give voice? How does the idol of neoliberalism continue its hold over the working class despite their experience of its frustrations and failures?

References

Bloomquist, Karen L The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

February 12, 2018

Episode 13 - The Dream Betrayed, Part I: The Dilemma Of The Working Class

In this episode of Ergasia, we begin an examination of the relationship between the Church and the working class through the book The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class by the Lutheran pastor and theologian, Karen L Bloomquist. Bloomquist begins by identifying the central dilemma of the working class in modernity: their betrayal by the neoliberal dream of upward social and economic mobility in return for a lifetime of hard work. But she also begins setting the scene for how the Church often fails to respond to the reality of that dilemma; and how it can develop a theology of incarnational ministry that propetically challenges the prevailing order, instead of merely helping individuals in distress.

References

Bloomquist, Karen L., The Dream Betrayed: Religious Challenge of the Working Class. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

December 4, 2017

Episode 12 - Dead Man Working, Part V: A (Further) Theological Reflection

In this episode of Ergasia, we conclude our exploration of Dead Man Working by Carl Cederstrom and Peter Fleming (Zero Books, 2012). Does Cederstrom and Fleming's idea of the child as the helpless but ultimate subversive of the zombie apocalypse of post-industrial capitalism have merit? What is the response of a Christian theology of work to this idea? What do either suggest about how humanity can liberate its essence - and the essence of human work - from the clutches of an oppressive and controlling paradigm?

References

Cederstrom, Carl and Fleming, Peter Dead Man Working. Alresford: Zero Books, 2012.

 

September 2, 2017

Episode 11 - Dead Man Working, Part IV: A Theological Reflection

In this episode, the host of Ergasia, Brendan Byrne, offers a theological reflection on the book Dead Man Working by Carl Cederstrom and Peter Fleming (Zero Books, 2012).  In particular, he focuses on Cederstrom and Fleming's characterisation of the world of post-industrial work as a "land of the living dead", one in which human life has been appropriated in the interests of an oppressive and self-sustaining system; and views their analysis through the lens of the Christian understanding of work's role and meaning in human life, and Jesus' own critique of secular and religious powers that exist absent the human need they are meant to serve.

References

Cederstrom, Carl and Fleming, Peter Dead Man Working. Alresford: Zero Books, 2012

Sedlacek, Tomas The Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011

Quiggan, John Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us. Revised Updated Edition. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2012