Gary Dorrien Answers Questions on Occupy

The Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary talks about the future of the Occupy movement in this Web exclusive:

What are the ethical roots of the Occupy movement?

The ethical roots of the Occupy movement are as various as the widely various individuals and groups that identify with the movement. Many of the Occupy organizers are young anarchist activists, or anarchist veterans of the anti-globalization movement. Others are new or longtime proponents of Alinsky-style community organizing or other grassroots radical democracy organizations. Others, who came in a bit late, but who gave the movement a real surge when they did, come from traditional progressive organizations and unions involved in electoral politics. Others come from the peace and social justice fellowships that exist in most American religious denominations.

The moral language that you speak is always influenced by the community of memory to which you belong. If you don't have one, it is harder to fight off the dominant culture that commodifies everything that it touches. Many people in the Occupy movement have been deeply wounded by the nihilistic commercial society in which they have grown up, and they are searching for a community of meaning.

Read the rest of the interview here. And check out Professor Dorrien's article in the current issue, "Occupy the Future."

Tim Reidy

 

 

Vince Killoran
5 years ago
I don't think that grassroots community activism with an open-ended call for participatory democracy is exactly "interest group politics."

I'm pleased to find this post-thoughtful and one that addresses faith and social activism. The media and conservatives have moved on to the primaries and the HHS guidelines but I know from my own community that the Occupy Movement is quietly going about the hard work of organizing.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis, in Milan on March 25, sought to strengthen their faith and to address the dissatisfaction among young people and families due to economic difficulties, which creates fertile soil for populist movements.
Gerard O'ConnellMarch 25, 2017
Pope Francis said opportunity can come by restoring “the pillars” on which the union was first founded.
Gerard O'ConnellMarch 24, 2017
Some of the tensions still troubling Liberian life have deep social and historical roots.
Kevin ClarkeMarch 24, 2017
“This bill is catastrophic for Catholic social teaching and particularly for the people who we’re called to serve,” Sister Carol Keehan said.
Michael O'LoughlinMarch 24, 2017