The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics)


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Rivista di etica e scienze sociali / Journal of Ethics & Social Sciences
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They interpret moral intuition as an antecedent of the ethical decision-making process, to be blended with the traditional moral reasoning or the deliberative and intentional process. This innate human faculty constantly inclines decision makers toward the discovery of the human good and consequently to universal moral principles. The authors integrate synderesis into a framework that attempts to combine the intuitionist and rationalist perspectives with virtue ethics and then apply the result to ethical decision-making.

Related with Scholasticism also, a second paper, authored by Grant Michelson and Sandrine Fremeaux, analyzes two emerging models of business through the lenses of the common good—a central concept in Scholasticism with Aristotelian roots—and humanistic management: Conscious Capitalism and the Economy of Communion. The authors try to show how the pursuit of the common good of the firm can serve as a guide for humanistic management through two principles: first, community good is a condition for the realization of personal good; and second community good can only be promoted if it is oriented toward personal good.

They argue that both Conscious Capitalism and Economy of Communion strive to participate in the common good, although they differ in their respective manners of linking community good and personal good. In the twentieth century, Christian Churches, and particularly the Roman Catholic Church, have championed many relevant moral issues connected to business ethics.

More recently, the Catholic Church Magisterium has promoted other significant insights and has formulated principles for reflection, criteria for judgment, and guidelines for action. In addition, CST has pioneered a number of relevant concepts, some of which are now patrimony of business ethics. This issue contains three papers that establish a dialogue between CST and theoretical and practical approaches to business management.

This dialogue opens horizons to improving theories and practices. He finds this mainstream management theory problematic due to both economic limitations asymmetric information, contract completeness, and the need for coordination through explicit power or hierarchies and human limitations bounded rationality, opportunism, and behaviorism. On his part, Horacio E. Rousseau shows how establishing a dialogue between the ethical perspectives of CST on environmental ethics and the managerial view of the natural-resource-based view of the firm NRBV raises new possibilities for studying the complex, multi-dimensional process of corporate sustainability.

In particular, he proposes integrating CST in this latter approach by considering the importance of CST in developing executive moral competences, which include moral sensitivity, moral cognition, and motivation for ecology and sustainability. These moral competences, in turn, influence the organizational selection of environmental strategies, giving leaders the intrinsic motivation to promote both a longer-term stance on corporate sustainability efforts and a relentless search for greener business models.

This is due to an exaggerated focus of the mainstream theories on individual behavior and reactions motivated by material satisfaction, without considering that the person is able to act gratuitously on his or her own account, without regard to stimuli. They suggest that we need a more complete anthropological perspective and highlight the importance of considering gratuitousness in all business activities, including marketing. This does not mean abandoning the conventional exchange based on justice, but extending it with gratuity.

According to the authors, gratuitous giving is not only a valid theory to explain consumer behaviors, but also an argument for adopting a more realistic anthropology to conceptualize the consumer as a person. This offers a new way to understand consumer behavior and opens a new avenue of inquiry into the field of gift marketing research. These three papers are aligned with other works which have taken the Christian—or more precisely, Catholic—perspective to analyze or develop some aspects of economic and business ethics.

Among these works, there are some related to the economic system and marketplace Hill and Downers ; Jones ; Bayer ; Longenecker et al. Others, more specifically, refer to the theory of the firm and the purpose of business Naughton et al. Christian spirituality in leading business has been developed to a lesser degree than Christian ethics and specific bibliography on Christian spirituality in business is still scarce. Among the exceptions, we can mention Delbecq and de Woot Also noteworthy are several contributions regarding Christian spirituality on human work and sanctification of work Wyszynski ; John Paul II , Chap.

However, concepts now widely developed such as spiritual leadership e. The final four papers of this special issue are related to Christian spirituality in leading business organizations. Chris Mabey, Mervyn Conroy, Karen Blakeley, and Sara de Marco start by criticizing generic spiritual literature, particularly conventional spiritual approaches to work and spiritual leadership theory, by arguing that they are instrumental and ahistorical in nature. According to these authors, in order to exhibit ethical leadership, it is beneficial to cultivate a personal spirituality the moral manager which provides philosophical, emotional, and spiritual sustenance to ethical leadership in practice, without which ethical leadership is more likely to succumb to situational pressures.

They propose Christian spirituality, arguing that Jesus offers a vital foundation to the practice of ethical leadership and business ethics in organizations. Christian spirituality is central in the article written by Lloyd Sandelands. According to Cameron et al. Sandelands asked himself why such admiration is expressed for POS when cannot be accounted for scientifically.

It is what our hearts desire but our science cannot say. Within Christian spirituality, there are many sub-spiritualities, which stress some determinate aspects. In particular, within the Catholic tradition there is a variety of schools of spirituality Aumann , and so too within the Protestant tradition Alexander The last three papers of this issue are based on two great masters of Christian—Catholic spirituality: St.

Benedict and St. Ignatius of Loyola. Guillaume Mercier and Ghislain Deslandes present a conceptual study and an empirical research conducted in several monasteries living under the Rule of St. Benedict and the corresponding spirituality. They explored how monks interpret St.

They used both hermeneutic and ethical criteria to make this rule a way of life and treat it as a dynamic framework that helps them to follow their purpose within their organization. From the findings, these scholars learn that Benedictine monasteries offer an alternative model for practicing codes of ethics, in a virtue-ethical manner, beyond mere compliance with the text. Josep M. Lozano focuses on St. For this reason, he proposes an anthropological and non-denominational reading of some of the fundamental meditations found in the spiritual exercises of St.

Ignatius, which can be used as a heuristic in the debate regarding what business schools propose.

Last, but not least, Teresa J. Rothausen also considers St. Besides the relevance of Christian ethics for Christian believers, a number of Christian thinkers have made significant contributions on ethics in business and economics, not only recently but over many centuries. Christian churches, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, and individual scholars, have led the discussion around relevant moral issues connected to business ethics.

Moreover, important concepts widely used in business ethics either have their roots in or have received close attention within the Christian tradition. As we have noted, an increasing interest in Christian ethics and spirituality in business and management has led recently to a number of initiatives and interest groups, conferences, and publications.


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This special issue is aligned with this revival. Nevertheless, and in spite of the work done, more research is necessary to develop the potentiality of Christian ethics and spirituality in business. There are a number of areas for further research on the topic of Christian ethics and spirituality in leading business. The papers presented here belong to three of them: a Scholasticism as philosophical basis for business ethics, b integration of Catholic social teaching into business and management, and c Christian spiritualities as inspirational sources for leading organizations.

Some other points for a research agenda can be added to the previous.

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One is undertaking comparative studies and a sincere dialogue between economic and Christian-based ethical perspectives, trying to overcome the radical separation between both approaches. Probably, both perspectives would benefit from this dialogue. Another is re-thinking management theories and approaches from Christian ethics and the philosophical anthropology provided by the Christian perspective. It is necessary to investigate how these Christian principles, and their founding values, can be successfully translated into business and management.

The examination of these principles and their application to business could open up dialogue with other spiritual, religious, and philosophical traditions, which would constitute an interesting matter for research and even a way to contribute to a better understanding between civilizations.

Christopher Hitchens destroys Christian ethics and morality

Another point for research regards the implementation of Christian values and principles and the corresponding performance. This could be extended, of course, to other Christian perspectives. Related with this, it would also be interesting to promote studies on Christian-based best practices, as well as how Christian business leaders think and act in managing a business. Interviews with business leaders and studies of their biographies can provide role models beyond theoretical approaches. Therefore, further developments should stimulate discussions in business and universities on how to contribute to a more complete formation of managers and future managers, educating them to be effective business leaders with high principles.

Project MUSE - Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics-Volume 36, Number 1, Spring/Summer

Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. Article First Online: 09 September Christian Ethics and Spirituality Although there are diverse approaches to Christian ethics Crook , pp.

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Nicholas Townsend

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Journal of Business Ethics, 99 1 , 37— Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Johan Graafland. Tilburg University. Graafland uvt. Oxford Academic. Google Scholar. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals. Issue Section:. You do not currently have access to this article. Download all figures.

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The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics) The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics)
The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics) The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics)
The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics) The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics)
The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics) The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics)
The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics) The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics)
The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics) The Market Economy and Christian Ethics (New Studies in Christian Ethics)

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