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Sociologist Carolyn Chen discusses her new book, "Work, Pray, Code: When Work Becomes Religion in Silicon Valley," with David W. Miller, director of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative.
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From the publisher: "Silicon Valley is known for its lavish perks, intense work culture, and spiritual gurus. 'Work Pray Code' explores how tech companies are bringing religion into the workplace in ways that are replacing traditional places of worship, blurring the line between work and religion and transforming the very nature of spiritual experience in modern life.
Over the past forty years, highly skilled workers have been devoting more time and energy to their jobs than ever before. They are also leaving churches, synagogues, and temples in droves—but they have not abandoned religion. Carolyn Chen spent more than five years in Silicon Valley, conducting a wealth of in-depth interviews and gaining unprecedented access to the best and brightest of the tech world. The result is a penetrating account of how work now satisfies workers’ needs for belonging, identity, purpose, and transcendence that religion once met. Chen argues that tech firms are offering spiritual care such as Buddhist-inspired mindfulness practices to make their employees more productive, but that our religious traditions, communities, and public sphere are paying the price."
Carolyn Chen, a sociologist, is associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of "Getting Saved in America" (Princeton University Press) and the coeditor of "Sustaining Faith Traditions. She lives in Kensington, California.
David W. Miller is director of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative, senior professional specialist in ethics, and lecturer. He brings an unusual “bilingual” perspective to the classroom and the boardroom. Before receiving his Ph.D. in ethics and joining the faculty at Princeton University, Miller spent 16 years in senior executive positions in international business and finance, including eight years in London. His signature class at Princeton is “Business Ethics: Succeeding Without Selling Your Soul.” In addition to his Princeton teaching and research, Miller also serves as an international advisor to CEOs, senior executives, and other leaders on ethics, values-based leadership, culture, and faith at work. An article in the Wall Street Journal featured Miller's work with one global organization, referring to him as their “on-call ethicist.” Miller's passion is to help current and future leaders be grounded in and guided by their deepest values as they serve the common good through the marketplace.
Presented in partnership with Princeton University Press and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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