Holy Cooperation!

December 29, 2008

Overview

Filed under: Uncategorized — coopgeek @ 7:09 pm

Welcome to the very beginnings of the website for faith-based cooperation. Many religious traditions include elements that are in harmony with cooperative economics, and these common values provide an important opportunity for reconciliation and peacemaking. Even where interfaith cooperation is not appropriate, there is certainly an opportunity to address the severe issues of economic injustice that have resulted from an unbalanced capitalist economy.

Here are some resources to provide a window into some forms of faith-based cooperation. It is not representative, and only reflects information that has been compiled online in English:

Buddhist:

Last winter, I crossed paths with a Thai cooperative organizer named Kovit Boonjear. He told me of his Buddist-inspired work organizing squatters in Thailand. He also told me of a community called Santi Asok, is the clearest expression of Buddhist intentional community. I was also tipped off to a Buddhist social critic named Sulak Sivaraksa and reminded of the work of E.F. Schumacher. Stay tuned for more.

Christian:

Book of Acts Project:  Provides extensive list of links to faith-based cooperative efforts.

Andrew McLeod’s recent book on Christianity and cooperation: “Holy Cooperation!: Building Graceful Economies.” A shorter essay is also available.

Jewish:

“At Home in Utopia” portrays life in Jewish housing cooperatives in mid-20th century New York.

Moshav Matityahu is an orthodox cooperative village in Israel.

Cooperatives have also played a major role in Jewish history in Europe.

Zvi Galor is an Israeli scholar who has amassed a collection of writings on Israeli co-ops (which are generally nonreligious) that is without rival in the English language.

Please see the relevant section of this paper for more examples. More information coming soon!

Mormon:

LDS Cooperative: Provides links to a variety of economically radical Mormon sites, including the extremely interesting and prescient 1875 “Proclamation on the Economy” (co-signed by Brigham Young!)

Muslim:

Coming soon! This tradition has a tradition of cooperative organizing that has involved more people than any other, especially in insurance and finance but also housing. There is a lot of ground to cover, but please see the relevant section of this paper for details.

Yogananda:

Followers of this yogi have established several cooperative communities, with roughly 1000 members.

Unitarian Universalist:

The Lucy Stone Cooperative is a new Unitarian Universalist housing co-op in Boston.

Interfaith:

Andrew McLeod has produced a pair of writings on the common cooperative aspects of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These include a report presented to the International Cooperative Alliance Research Conference in Riva del Garda, Italy; as well as a short version covering the topic in less detail.

Get Involved:

We are beginning work on a more comprehensive web site, with detailed links pages. If you are interested in working on compiling this information from your own faith tradition, please email coopgus (at) gmail (dot) com.

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