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

The 4 types of thinking talents: Analytic, procedural, relational and innovative

Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
  • Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Do you have a self-actualized personality? Maslow revisited

Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.

Personal Growth

Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists reactivate cells from 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth

"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."

Yamagata et al.
Surprising Science
  • The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
  • Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
  • Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
Keep reading Show less

Believe in soulmates? You're more likely to 'ghost' romantic partners.

Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?

Thought Catalog via Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
  • Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
  • Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
Keep reading Show less