Carolyn Chen - Work, Pray, Code (Calvary Presbyterian In-Person and Live Online)

Carolyn Chen

Work, Pray, Code

Tues., December 13, 2022 • 7:00pm PT
Calvary Presbyterian Church • Free Event

This event will be hosted by Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. Please contact with questions regarding online events.

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.

Carolyn Chen, a sociologist, is associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Getting Saved in America (Princeton) and the coeditor of Sustaining Faith Traditions. She lives in Kensington, California. Website


Carolyn Chen photo courtesy of Ella Sophie Bessette



Calvary Presbyterian
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Work Pray Code: When Work Becomes Religion in Silicon Valley By Carolyn Chen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780691219080
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Princeton University Press - March 8th, 2022