How Big Tech Turned Work Into a Religion

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In her new book, "Work Pray Code," UC Berkeley professor Carolyn Chen offers up a provocative spin on what has happened among Silicon Valley professionals. Their work has become their religion. She means this literally, and she’s a religion professor, so she should know. Based on in-depth interviews with more than 100 Silicon Valley workers, she found that their work isn’t soul-crushing but rather as she writes, “Work has become a spiritual practice that inspires religious fervor. People are not ‘selling their souls’ at work. Rather, work is where they find their souls.” We’ll talk with Chen about her new book and ask our listeners: Is work where you look for belonging, identity, and transcendence?


Carolyn Chen, associate professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley and co-director, Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion. Author, "Work Pray Code: When Work Becomes Religion in Silicon Valley"