How tech giants are reshaping spirituality to serve their religion of peak productivity
Silicon Valley is known for its lavish perks, intense work culture, and spiritual gurus. Work Pray Code explores how tech companies are bringing religion into the workplace in ways that are replacing traditional places of worship, blurring the line between work and religion and transforming the very nature of spiritual experience in modern life.
Over the past forty years, highly skilled workers have been devoting more time and energy to their jobs than ever before. They are also leaving churches, synagogues, and temples in droves–but they have not abandoned religion. Carolyn Chen spent more than five years in Silicon Valley, conducting a wealth of in-depth interviews and gaining unprecedented access to the best and brightest of the tech world. The result is a penetrating account of how work now satisfies workers’ needs for belonging, identity, purpose, and transcendence that religion once met. Chen argues that tech firms are offering spiritual care such as Buddhist-inspired mindfulness practices to make their employees more productive, but that our religious traditions, communities, and public sphere are paying the price.
We all want our jobs to be meaningful and fulfilling. Work Pray Code reveals what can happen when work becomes religion, and when the workplace becomes the institution that shapes our souls.
Cover Title Page Copyright Dedication Contents Acknowledgments Introduction. How Work Is Replacing Religion Chapter 1. Losing My Religion … and Finding It at Work Chapter 2. Corporate Maternalism: Nurturing Body and Soul Chapter 3. Managing Souls: The Spiritual Cultivation of Human Capital Chapter 4. The Dharma according to Google Chapter 5. Killing the Buddha Conclusion. Techtopia: Privatized Wholeness and Public Brokenness Appendix A. Finding the Sacred in a Secular Valley Appendix B. Studying the Souls of Tech Folk Notes Index
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