14 March 2013

"Bankrupting the Faith" Follow-Up

I posted here about a working paper by Visiting Associate Professor Pamela Foohey titled "Bankrupting the Faith." I interviewed Pamela a week ago and now the podcast is available here. Not only is hers an interesting piece of empirical research, and not only does her work indicate that bankruptcy can be used to preserve equity trapped in real estate, it leads me to appreciate the non-financial aspects of reorganization. In other words, the need of the communion of the saints to occupy a physical space.

Christianity at least among the religions practiced in America is an embodied faith. American evangelicalism's traditional disregard of the sacraments, it historic emphasis on the mind, and its contemporary affective-centric practice of worship, all give short-shrift to the reality of the biblical picture of Christian worship. Tangible presence together with the full range of emotions oriented toward the hope in the resurrection of the dead make the need for a permanent and persistent place of worship of significance. Chapter 11 bankruptcy can help maintain such a place.

And one more thing: It sounds to me like using bankruptcy to assist religious organizations could be a good practice area. It seems as if only a relatively few lawyers are doing this in a few judicial districts so there may be room for more to enter the fray.

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