The radical Christian roots of co-ops
The roots of the commitment to ‘civil society’ and co-operatives can be found in traditional/radical Christian social thought and across theological divides.
The Protestant Levellers and Diggers of 17th century England, as well as John Wesley, who worked to establish co-operatives and credit unions to promote associative welfare amongst people living in poverty, all promoted this older form of social enterprise. The same commitment can be found today via the Roman Catholic inspired ‘evolved Distributism‘ of Basque Spain expressed in the extensive ecosystem of Mondragon worker-owned co-operatives.
There are of course many thinkers from a variety of faiths (or none) who support the idea of social enterprise.
Out of this backdrop a new social enterprise model is emerging which, if developed carefully, is set to benefit everyone, particularly those who suffer disadvantage in our economy, to find their own way to greater well-being; as well as make our communities more cohesive and just. The mission of the CoopWorkshop aligns well with Christian tradition; but anyone who has an interest in social enterprise can find a good place here in the Workshop.
The social enterprise project here aligns well with Christian tradition; but anyone who has an interest in social enterprise can find a good place in this Workshop.