What does wealth mean? We might understand the meaning of money on many levels, but we rarely consider the theological component, the religious. In recent years, the Jewish community has went through fundamental changes in its financial status. As individuals, many members of the same community are struggling like never before, even while communal standards have risen higher and higher. This month, we explore the question of wealth and religion, as we wonder what meaning wealth can and should have, and what our beliefs about success might say about the story of our community in contemporary life.
1. The Cost of Religion: Is there a price tag to life in a religious community?
2. The Status of Success: What do cultural markers of success indicate about our communal values?
3. The Meaning of Money: What does material worth mean to the religious person, society, or value system?
What makes someone a ‘loser’? In this book, Scott Sandage looks at the history of failure in America, from the earliest days of the republic until today. Through a deep look at the ephemera of one slice of the cultural history of America, Sandage considers what our attitudes and anxieties about failure say about what success means to us, and how we wrestle with our own perceived shortcomings. Sandage’s work on failure pairs well with another classic exploration of the topic, Kathryn Schulz’s Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. Schulz’s work focuses less on our ideas about money and financial success than Sandage’s, but she tells the story of our relationship with the notion of rightness and wrongness with a lucidity and depth that make Being Wrong a deeply edifying read.