In partnership with Interweave, Drew presents:
Sacred Economics: The Spirituality of Money
Charles Eisenstein, Author of Sacred Economics Michael Christensen, International Director, Shalom Initiative, and Pastor of Epworth UMC, Berkeley, CA
“The financial crisis we are facing today arises from the fact that there is almost no more social, cultural, natural, and spiritual capital left to convert into money…. When everything is subject to money, then the scarcity of money makes everything scarce, including the basis of human life and happiness.” ― Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics
“We need a new economic order beyond capitalism and socialism that makes peace and justice its entire goal. If we continue to focus on our many fears [including] no longer being the strongest and wealthiest nation on earth…our planet will have little chance of surviving our lifetimes.”—Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Formation
Charles Eisenstein has some new and revolutionary ideas about money and “gift economy” in his book Sacred Economics. In it he describes how our current monetary system, based on interest and usury, has led to fear, alienation, competition, and compulsive need for continuous economic growth. He explores a new economics of negative-interest currencies, local currencies, resource-based economics and the restoration of the commons.Eisenstein issues a clarion call to global cultures to practice “gift economics”—based on a trans-competitive, ecologically sustainable, common good. He also considers the personal dimensions of this transition, how to find “right livelihood” and live according to spiritual ideals in a world ruled by money.
Henri Nouwen is author of over 40 books on the spiritual life, including several related to the spirituality of power and money:Compassion, Downward Mobility, Living in a Fearful Land, and The Spirituality of Fundraising. He practiced what he called “downward mobility” and “voluntary displacement” as right-livelihood and vocation. As Professor of Divinity at Harvard, he opted to leave the classroom to sojourn among the poor of Latin America, and then found a home as pastor and priest (without salary) in a new economy and prophetic community of people with physical and emotional disabilities in Toronto. In his book on Spiritual Formation, Nouwen reveals a spiritual path that leads from the “House of Fear to the House of Love for All People.”
Michael Christensen, Associate Professor in the Practice of Spirituality and Ministry at Drew, who developed three of Nouwen’s posthumous books on Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation and Discernment, will respond to Charles Eisenstein’s presentation at Drew, and try to build a bridge between the spiritual ideas and economics of these two seminal thinkers.
Drew University is pleased to offer this lecture in partnership with Interweave, a community-based learning center that fosters personal growth and transformation and enriches community life through innovative adult learning experiences. AtInterweave, people come together to explore new ideas, engage in meaningful conversation, tap their inner creativity, and take action to make a positive difference in the world.
Bios Charles Eisenstein is a speaker and writer focusing on themes of human culture and identity. He is the author of several books, most recently Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible. His background includes a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Yale, a decade in Taiwan as a translator, and stints as a college instructor, a yoga teacher, and a construction worker. He currently writes and speaks full-time. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and four children. Michael J. Christensen (M.A., Yale, Ph.D., Drew), is the Director the Shalom Initiative for Prophetic Leadership and Community Development at Drew University; and International Director of Communities of Shalom for The United Methodist Church. Trained, equipped and promoted by Drew Theological School, Communities of Shalom is a global network of over 100 “shalom zones” engaged in social justice, community organizing, and community development. As Affiliate Professor of Spirituality in the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies at Drew, Dr. Christensen he teaches spirituality and religious studies. From 1995-2007, he was Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Drew in which he oversaw six doctoral program concentrations, including the “Global/Online Ministerial Leadership Development,” “Congregational Growth and Development,” and “Pastoral Care and Counseling.”