Work and Religion in Silicon Valley

From the Faith Angle West 2023 Forum in Seattle, WA

Carolyn Chen,

Trae Stephens,

Do mainstream American workers find more meaning in their workplace or their religion? In her book Work, Pray, Code, Carolyn Chen argues that many workplaces—typified by Silicon Valley innovators—are providing their workers with a kind of vocational purpose previously experienced through institutional religious life. From meditation apps to company chaplains to SoulCycle, a rising class of younger, mobile, hi-tech workers is still meaning-making, but without religion.

Trae Stephens argues this trend is in part due to a sociological and theological deficit in how we envision vocation—and that this oversight has a backstory. Can entrepreneurial leaders, clerics, and journalists play a role in advancing a moral vision that helps us avoid some of the pitfalls posed by social media polarization and other disruptions? This session will reframe and help us rethink the emerging roles of work and religion in American life.


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Work and Religion in Silicon Valley

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