Today we continue our Cyberside Chat series with Sebastián Seromik, a contributor to this blog who also works for SEVEN Fund. 1. What does prosperity mean to you? True human flourishing. Becoming the person that God meant for me to be – this covers all aspects of life – spiritual, material, physical, emotional, etc. 2. Describe one moment that exemplifies to you the intersection of faith and business. I had a business school professor at the University of Michigan, Lloyd Sandelands, who taught a fantastic course on organizational management. At the end of the course, he told us that managing others required one to manage oneself, and that, in his mind, the best approach to this was a faith-filled approach. I had never heard someone teach that, and after talking with him, and how his Catholic faith affected his work, I realized that I, too, could integrate my faith with my professional life. 3. Name one person you’ve always admired and what they taught you about living an integrated life My grandfather. His dedication to God, his family, and his work has always astounded me. Each year of his life has been a year of growth. And the best part… Read more
I just watched this fantastic video of Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen. He discusses the importance of religion in upholding democracy and capitalism. He mentions an outsider’s observation that religion in America is often hostile to capitalism, when it should be providing the ethical guidance to make capitalism and democracy work – qualities such as honesty, integrity, respecting others’ property, and diligence. These themes echo the thoughts in Michael Novak’s book, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism. Christensen then moves on to talk about the flaws inherent in the view that the goal of management should be to maximize shareholder value, and how this view has contributed to some of the dishonesty from business executives that has peppered our national media in recent years. Definitely a must-watch 9 minute video!
The first lecture I attended at the 2011 Acton University was by Samuel Gregg, who argued that all of what we were to study for the rest of the conference depended on an accurate understanding of the human person. He proposed six claims to do so: 1. Humans are embodied creatures. It’s dangerous to separate the body and soul, as many have (e.g. Descartes). The human person must be considered in its body-soul unity. 2. Reason goes beyond the positive sciences to attainable transcendental truths. Because of this, it can be said that Christians actually value reason more than secularists do. 3. Humans possess a unique capacity for choice. Rather than hereditary or environmental factors being the main determinants of human action, a Christian understanding of the human person is based on the reason and will as determinants of human action. 4. Humans are creative, and so different from all other creatures. Due to our reason, we can be creative in our flourishing and shaping of our world. 5. Humans are fallen creatures, and, as such, are fallible. Obvious one, maybe, but nonetheless important. However, despite our fall, our reason and will are still usable. 6. Humans are simultaneously individual… Read more