Date(s) - 04/23/2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Starr King School for the Ministry
Join us for “Religion and Labor: Beyond Charity and Advocacy to Deep Solidarity” lecture by Rosemaire Rieger and Joerg Rieger.
Efforts to bring together religion and labor often remain on the surface, focusing on short-term results. In or-der to organize communities for political action long term, we need to dig deeper and rethink both religion and labor. In this presentation, we will demonstrate how new energy for political action is tied to new visions of re-ligion and labor.
Religion can only be appreciated in its fullness in relation to labor: In the Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Godself is presented not as a manager but as a worker who forms the human being from clay (Genesis 2:7, Qur’an 15.26, 15.28) and plants a garden (Genesis 2:8-9). The Christian traditions hold that God joined the workforce as a day laborer in construction in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Religion ap-pears to be at its best when it is located in the communal struggles of everyday life, where God is at work.
Likewise, labor movements are at their best when they put themselves in relation to the deepest hopes and aspi-rations of people and their communities. This insight is embodied in the many religious traditions that have been shaped by working people. As labor issues affect the majority of humanity (less than 1 percent are inde-pendently wealthy), the political agency of communities is best developed from this perspective, based on deep solidarity.
Rosemarie Rieger is an organizer with North Texas Jobs with Justice. She also heads the Community Engagement Committee of the Dallas American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
Joerg Rieger is Wendland-Cook Professor of Constructive Theology at Per-kins School of Theology, SMU. He engages issues of religion and power both practically and theoretically. Among his books are Religion, Theology, and Class (2013), Occupy Religion: Theology of the Multitude (2012), and No Rising Tide: Theology, Economics, and the Future (2009).
This lecture will be on Thursday, April 23, at 6:00 PM.
Sponsored by the Master of Arts in Social Change program and the Office of the Dean of Faculty. Light refreshments will be served.