Eye for Eye

Athaliah the murderous mother is undone by Jehosheba the protective mother. To be specific: Athaliah renounces her blood ties with her grandchildren and slaughters the royal seed (2 Kings 11). Jehosheba renounces her blood ties with her own mother, Athaliah, and saves the royal seed. Wicked family . . . . Continue Reading »


Sennett again: “The number of men aged fifty-five to sixty-four at work in the United States has dropped from nearly 80 percent in 1970 to 65 percent in 1990.” Trends are similar in Western Europe. Older workers are often downsized, perceived as inflexible deadwood, too critical of . . . . Continue Reading »

Economy of ingratitude

To return to one of my recent obsessions: The flexible economy described by Sennett seems inimical to the cultivation of gratitude, one of the key components or grounds of loyalty. Employers have various sorts of incentives (stock prices, meeting market demands with flexible specializations) to . . . . Continue Reading »


Sennett claims that the apparent decentralization of power in flexible organizations is only apparent. In fact, power remains concentrated in the hands of top level managers, often enhanced by the surveillance capabilities of contemporary technologies. The actual practice of flextime illustrates . . . . Continue Reading »


Sennett summarizes a study from the early 1990s done by the American Management Association, which found that “repeated downsizings produce ‘lower profits and declining worker productivity.’” The study found “less than half the companies achieved their experience . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon outline, Sixth After Epiphany

INTRODUCTION Yahweh’s promise to David (2 Samuel 7) about an eternal dynasty overshadows the whole book of Kings, and the story of Kings is about Yahweh’s faithfulness to David in the face of all threats and challenges. Here, David’s dynasty is nearly destroyed by a daughter of . . . . Continue Reading »

Language of deficit

After listing 22 descriptive terms for the self (including stressed, self-alienated, paranoid, bulimic), Kenneth Gergen notes that “they are all terms of mental deficit. They discredit the individual, drawing attention to problems, shortcomings, or incapacities. To put it more broadly, the . . . . Continue Reading »

When to start philosophy

Montaigne wrote in his essay on the education of children, “The boy we would breed has a great deal less time to spare; he owes but the first fifteen or sixteen years of his life to education; the remainder is due to action. Let us, therefore, employ that short time in necessary instruction. . . . . Continue Reading »

Self-conscious modernity

Postmodernity is from one angle modernity coming to self-consciousness. Managerialism is as much at the heart of modernity as of postmodernity, but postmoderns know they are being managed. As a result, management is always shot through with irony. How can we take the wizard seriously after the . . . . Continue Reading »