Author: Jennifer Woodruff Tait

I'm the Content Editor for The High Calling at The Theology of Work Project, the managing editor of Christian History Magazine, and a priest in the Episcopal Church. I'm also the author of The Poisoned Chalice and Histories of Us.

What the Faith and Work Movement Can Learn From #ThanksForTyping

A provocative article about the hashtag #ThanksForTyping recently appeared on the website Ministry Matters: It had started with a few tweets by Bruce Holsinger, a literary scholar at the University of Virginia, noting that the acknowledgments in older academic work often included the author’s wife for her work in typing the manuscript. In some acknowledgments, the unnamed wife did much…

Missing the Night Sky: or, the Industrial Revolution and the Stars

I started reading this recent article from The New Atlantis thinking that it would be mostly about the technology of why we no longer see the stars. It turned out to be as much about the philosophy, even the spirituality, of why: “We used to look up in the sky and wonder at our place in the stars,” Matthew McConaughey’s character says…

Book Review: I’ve Never Pretended I’m Not Religious

This post was originally a participation in the Patheos Book Club on David Dark’s Life’s Too Short to Pretend You’re Not Religious. Since one of the things we in the faith and work movement are always agonizing about is the sacred-secular divide, I thought it was worth reprinting here too for further pondering of the lessons the book teaches about…

Why the election is a faith and work crisis

  I’ve told the story before how a chance phone call from Chris Armstrong in late 2013 involved me, a nice moderate United-Methodist-turned-Episcopalian mainliner who was doctrinally orthodox but not culturally evangelical, in the faith and work movement. Even as a not-particularly-liberal mainline type, one of the barriers to involvement in this space that I had to overcome was my…

Gender progress in the faith and work movement: or, I’d like to wait in line for the women’s restroom

By Jennifer Woodruff Tait A few years ago, some of us who are now connected with this blog, and who were at that time connected with another project, were having a planning meeting for the project. The first time we had a coffee/water/restroom break, I noticed something odd. At the risk of beating a dead horse, I’ll remind you I’m…

Are we selling out? I don’t want to turn into a big fat cat

When I was a teenager, I became enamored, as only an anti-establishment teenager in the 1970s could become enamored, of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. The cynical lyrics deconstructed faith and capitalism in a way profoundly appealing to a countercultural16-year-old.

But now I’m 45, and much more committed to human flourishing as well as deconstructing. Still, as I wrote in this post, I worry that my work with the faith and work movement is blinding me to things I should not be blinded to. I want the movement to reassure me that it isn’t, underneath, aiming for the world that Bernstein describes in this song. (The whole set of lyrics can be seen here on YouTube.)  I’ll be watching my fellow bloggers eagerly for answers to that question. I don’t think the faith and work movement will make headway in the mainline until it can find a way to set pastors from my generation at ease on this question.

Chorus: God made it be good
Preacher: Created it good
Chorus: Created the gnats
Preacher: Gnats to nourish the sprats
Chorus: Sprats to nourish the rats
Preacher: And all for us big fat cats. Yow!


Did Moody Bible Institute invent the faith and work movement?

By Jennifer Woodruff Tait A month or so ago, I got an email from my doctoral advisor (who has some idea which way my life path has gone) saying that I ought to review a book called The Blessings of Business  by Darren Grem. In conjunction, he said, with Timothy Gloege’s  Guaranteed Pure, a scholarly history of Moody Bible Institute.…