Church Leadership Decision Factors

I am currently working on trying to model the decision-making of church leaders when making decisions to change (or keep) church doctrine in response to changing public opinion. As part of that, I am trying to think of every significant factor that a church leader might take into mind (consciously or unconsciously) when put in such a situation. The list is hard to keep to a manageable length. The good news is that to model is to simplify; not all these factors can be taken into account, but that is also the bad news.

Why do People Form Social Identities?

A social identity is chosen membership in a social group or category. Most of the answers to the question: “who are you?” are social identities. In my case, if I say I am a man, a father, a husband, an immigrant, and so on, these are all examples of broader social categories which make up much of my identity. But notice the irony here–we need to identity with larger social groups in order to answer the question of who we are at a personal level.

Life in the Middle Atlas

There are a million pictures of the old medinas of Fes and Marrakesh, and justifiably so. Those are two of the most amazing places on Earth. Just 45 minutes south from Fes, as the old beat up grand taxi drives, however, is a world that attracts much less attention. That is where I had the privilege of working for two years in a little town called Imouzzer Kandar. This post is an attempt to catalogue my experience of that special place in as few images as possible.

Thoughts from an Economics Conference

I am sitting at the John Wayne Airport (did he build it?) reflecting on the conference I just attended “The Economics of Religion”, held at Chapman University. It was my first economics conference and I thoroughly enjoyed it, perhaps less so because of the material presented (much of it, particularly the modeling components, were way over my head), but just because of all the great people I met and the collegial atmosphere that prevailed.

What is the Value of Democracy

On June 1, 2021, one hundred and ninety-seven political scientists signed a “Statement of Concern” about “threats to American Democracy.”1 As evidence for the precariousness of democracy in this country, the signatories list the attempts to deligitimize the national election by former President Trump and his allies, voter suppression legislation masquerading as voter ID laws arising from Republican-controlled legislatures, and the continued practice of gerrymandering.2 The authors take the fact that these behaviours are corrosive to democracy as a given.