How Religion Can Make Friends of Strangers

Churches can create the context in which sociability can be made safe and expressed. 

One of the things that stop communities from forming is the lack of a host.  What does a host do?  A host gathers a group of people together and does a very simple job of releasing their sociability, of making sociability safe within, in some ways, a limited context.  So, a day a week or in a particular building sociability can be made safe.  


Nowadays in the modern city, in the anonymity of the modern republic, we tend to walk around with stern faces and do not talk to strangers.  And we don’t talk to them because we think, guided by the media, that they’re all very strange, potentially murderers, pedophiles, crazy people so that we want nothing to do with them. 

Churches and communities of the religious persuasion often brings strangers together and say, "Look, beneath the mask of strangeness, there is potentially goodness and sociability."  And it creates the context in which sociability can be made safe and expressed. 

60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Ethnic chauvinism: Why the whole world shouldn’t look like America

We are constantly trying to force the world to look like us — we need to move on.

Videos
  • When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, many Americans jumped for joy. At the time, some believed there weren't going to be any more political disagreements anywhere in the world. They thought American democracy had won the "war of ideas."
  • American exceptionalism has sought to create a world order that's really a mirror image of ourselves — a liberal world order founded on the DNA of American thinking. To many abroad this looks like ethnic chauvinism.
  • We need to move on from this way of thinking, and consider that sometimes "problem-solving," in global affairs, means the world makes us look like how it wants to be.
Keep reading Show less

Physicists find new state of matter that can supercharge technology

Scientists make an important discovery for the future of computing.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new state of matter called "topological superconductivity".
  • The state can lead to important advancements in quantum computing.
  • Utilizing special particles that emerge during this state can lead to error-free data storage and blazing calculation speed.
Keep reading Show less

First solar roadway in France turned out to be a 'total disaster'

French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.

Image source: Charly Triballeau / AFP / Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
  • French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
  • Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
Keep reading Show less