Too Big to Fail

A Talk by Dr Mark Jennings (Continuing Education Co-ordinator, Wollaston Theological College)
Thursday 16 August, 7.30pm in the Parish Centre

Neoliberalism is an often derided, but generally little understood, worldview. It attempts to combine a free market and a strong state, which exists to support that market. Neoliberalism reconfigures everything in economic terms – even phenomena that have never before been thought of as economic. It does this by training us to think of ourselves not as human beings, but rather as quantifiable human capital – improvable, flexible, and expendable. It has transformed government, education, community – even romance (think of the quantifiable ways we are taught to “entrepreneurialise” ourselves on Facebook and Tinder, for examples). It also teaches us to view large interests as ‘too big to fail’, and to regard individuals – particularly vulnerable people such as refugees, the homeless, and the unemployed – as ‘too small to save.’ But – can neoliberalism even colonise faith, something that has never been regarded as reducible to economics? In this talk, Dr Jennings will describe the elements of neoliberal rationality, the challenge it presents to faith, and offer some suggestions as to how faith itself may offer a resistance to this pernicious phenomena.

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