The Curiosity Index (08.11.2018)

Communist-Party-Led . . . Church Multiplication? As the Party-state attempts to shift from merely “managing” religious affairs to “actively guiding” religion, Christians (and especially church leaders) will have to make difficult choices about how to respond. Some will want to maintain a confrontational stance, while others will seek to function within the space still allowed, even if it may be smaller. Differing opinions regarding these responses may lead to even more division, not just between the registered and unregistered churches, but among house churches as well. I found this update on…

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Cathedrals of consumerism

Consumerism is more than simply buying lots of stuff, at its heart consumerism is an attempt to answer existential questions – how can I be accepted? How can I be pure? How can I be beautiful? How can I have meaning & purpose in life? As a result it’s no surprise that companies who do this best have created spaces that borrow ideas from sacred spaces. Atlas Obscura invited cultural historian Erica Robles-Anderson, a professor at New York University, to an Apple Store in Manhattan. Here are some highlights: Apple, more than any…

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The Curiosity Index (03.02.2015)

If you’re in the UK you may be aware of an important debate happening today in parliament with the headline grabbing three-parent babies. Peter Saunders asks five good questions. I think in an age of austerity where benefits are cut for the poorest it’s reasonable to ask how a company, Apple, can accumulate a $178 billion cash pile. It seems the answer is through strenuous efforts to avoid paying tax (anywhere). To try and visualise that enormous sum of money here is what $1 billion looks like This is an…

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Apple: The New Religion?

Skye Jethani writes an excellent piece on how consumer brands compete with religion. Here are some killler blows… “Many Christians believe the greatest threat to the church today is postmodernity. Others zero in on relativism. Some believe the enemy is secular humanism. Others think it’s Islam. I disagree with all of these. In my view, the greatest challenge facing the contemporary church is consumerism.” And “Without question one of the most potent brands in America today is Apple, and new research has shown that Apple has achieved the same impact…

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