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Science & Theology Dialogues: Does Capitalism corrode our Moral Character?

From both a scientific and ethical perspective, what can we objectively say about the impact of American-style capitalism on moral behavior?  Does capitalism corrode our moral behavior, or does capitalism allow us the opportunity to better serve God and our neighbor?  On July 21st the Science & Theology Dialogues will take up these important questions.  The conversation will be jointly sponsored by the DC Theology Pub & Emerging Christianity meetups. The Templeton Foundation has published an interesting exploration of this topic on their website, so participants can just download it and avoid ordering and reading a whole book.

This is the third topic down from the top of the page found at the Templeton website (click here) or cut and past the following:

The paper we will discuss includes a range of opinions, some supportive and some opposing, on the question. Please read as many of the essays as you can, and then let's talk about the ones that gripped your imagination the most!

We are switching to essay discussions: With this conversation, we are switching gears a little bit.  Our last few discussions required that we purchase and read a book.  Many indicated to me that they felt like they could not participate since they did not have the time to purchase and or read the book. Because these Templeton essays are online they can be downloaded and read on your mobile devices.

Your input is needed and valued: The Templeton essays promise to be a great resource for our conversations. If you know of any other sites that have interesting topics that would make a great source for our conversations, please share with the group by placing the links in the comment sections. Also if you are not able to attend this conversation gathering, please vote for your topic choice for our next gathering.

Hope you can join us for this interesting conversation!

Best, Larry

More about the Purpose of the "Science & Theology Dialogues:" We are trying to create a safe space for people to pose basic questions about how their faith background and science training & interests interrelate.  Many people either have given up on this quest (they never could fit the pieces together), or they try to make hard-and-fast rules where there's a lot of ambiguity and mystery.  We, on the other hand, have not given up on the quest to integrate faith and science.  But, to be clear, our group never seeks to "prove" God or any claim, but to "explore" and "evaluate" new ideas and theological models over a beer or meal.  We don't really have debates as much as conversations about new ideas from a range of disciplines (science, social science, theology, literature) that help us make sense of the world and our place in it.

More about our Facilitator of our "Science & Theology Dialogues": Going forward we are hoping Larry Branch and others interested in faith and science issues can host future "Science & Theology Dialogues" through DC Theology Pub & An Emerging Christianity Conversation in DC.  Larry’s interest in science & theology comes from his life experiences in the areas of computer science, social justice, and local church involvement. Larry is a software developer working on a number of projects as a contractor at the US Department of Labor. He lives in Loudoun County where he has chaired the county Board of Social Services. While serving on this influential board, he developed a special passion for providing affordable housing to all county residents. He also has attended a non-denominational church in the county since 1985, and he has served as an elder for several of those years. Larry describes himself as a “sojourner on a spiritual quest like many others in DC; but an unusual person in the District in that I do not have a political affiliation; rather, I enjoy meeting a variety of people. Even though I am committed to the Christian discipline and worldview, I especially love conversations with those of other spiritual disciplines and worldviews.” The diversity of Larry’s experiences makes him an ideal facilitator for this science & theology dialogue.


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  • Larry B.

    Sorry for the delay but I was on vacation last week. Here is my takeaway from our discussion. As a disciple of Jesus will the Free Market (a set of rules for doing business) define my values or will Jesus? This is true for any other aspect of our American culture. For me the question will always be, is Christ the main influencer in my life or is someone else setting my values? This discussion really made me stop, think and take stock of the influences in my life. Thanks to all who participated.

    July 29, 2013

  • Larry B.

    Large crowd we had to break the group up. Great conversation with some good friends. I am leaning toward the purpose of the universe discussion. Please chime in on your choice for our next discussion.

    July 22, 2013

  • Glenn Z.

    Hi all, Victoria will be hosting this Sunday's conversation. I've formally made her the host for the meeting. Larry can't make it, but we know Victoria will be great! :-) Thanks Vicki for stepping in. So look for Victoria when you arrive on Sunday. Best, Glenn the Organizer

    July 16, 2013

  • Larry B.

    One of the things we as a group does is spread around the task of moderating our conversation. This month Vicki Pursell will have the honor. Vicki has a graduate degree in geology and is a committed Christian. She has long been interested in the effects of science, and politics, on religion. Also if you get a chance check out the video interviews of the essayist.

    1 · July 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to it.

    July 1, 2013

  • Kofi

    In travel?..... Enjoy!..... Cheers!!

    July 1, 2013

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