Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
2001, ISBN 978-1-889680-21-7
Editors: Stewart W. Herman, Arthur Gross Schaefer

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1. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Acknowledgments
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2. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
George Brenkert Preface
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3. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Stewart W. Herman, Arthur Gross Schaefer Introduction
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This introduction a) presents organized religion as a source of "spiritual goods" and briefly summarizes each of the seventeen tradition-centeredarticles; b) explains why organized religion merits the attention of business ethics; c) categorizes the articles according to rubrics useful for teaching and research; d) further explains the value of these essays to academic researchers, business practitioners, and spiritual seekers.
4. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Stewart W. Herman From the Truly Real to Spiritual Wisdom: Religious Perspectives on Business Practice
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This essay sketches a method for identifying the insights that diverse religious traditions offer to the field of business ethics. Each article in this volume asserts or assumes faith-based claims about what is "truly real" as the ground of moral aspiration and obligation. Four distinct kinds of claims yield four kinds of wisdom, that is, moral guidance for business practice. 1) In Judaism and Islam, scriptural commands, as interpreted authoritatively down through these traditions, yield precise methods for rendering specific moral judgments; in Roman Catholicism, similar guidance is provided through natural law. 2) In Buddhism, Judaism, and most of the surveyed Christian traditions, the values of compassion, love, and justice provide spiritual resources to counter pressures towards immoral behavior in business. 3) The African-American and Mennonite churches interpret their particular histories of oppression to offer distinctive models of fortitude and hope. 4) In Evangelical Calvinism, Mormonism, and Roman Catholic social teaching, convictions about God's redemptive and sanctifying activity offer a robust moral vision for successful striving.
buddhism
5. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Buddhism
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6. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Bodhipaksa Reinventing the Wheel: A Buddhist Approach to Ethical Work
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The key to Buddhist business practice is "Right Livelihood," or work that is founded on Buddhist ethical values and that contributes to spiritual development. This essay focuses on Windhorse Trading, a company based in the United Kingdom that was consciously established as a Right Livelihood business within the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. The essay explores how the company dealt with a conflict that arose when a period of rapid expansion began to undermine the effectiveness of the workplace as a context for spiritual practice. I ask whether a business founded on Buddhist principles can be financially viable in the modern marketplace, and conclude that Windhorse's crisis resulted from a failure to adapt to rapid growth, rather than from an inherent flaw in the conception of a financially and spiritually successful business.
7. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Judith White Interdependence: The Core of a Buddhist Perspective on Business Ethics
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This paper applies central concepts found in Buddhism--interdependence, small ego, karma, suffering from desire and aversion, and non-harming--to current issues in business ethics and social responsibility. Despite their contrast with Western ethical principles, these Buddhist concepts address ethical problems found in Western business practice: hyperindividualism, greed, exploitation, and deception. The key is finding a middle ground between East and West.
christianity
8. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Catholicism
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9. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Barbara Hilkert Andolsen Roman Catholic Tradition and Ritual and Business Ethics: A Feminist Perspective
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Clerical workers are an important segment of the work force. Catholic social teachings and eucharistic practice shed useful moral light on the increase in contingent work arrangements among clerical workers. The venerable concept of "the universal destination of the goods of creation" and a newer understanding of technology as "a shared workbench" illuminate the importance of good jobs for clerical workers. However, in order to apply Catholic social teachings to issues concerning clerical work as women's work, sexist elements in traditional Catholic social teachings must be critically assessed. Participation in the Eucharist helps shape a moral stance of inclusivity and sensitivity to forms of social marginalization. While actual practice fails fully to embody gender or racial inclusivity, participation in the inclusive table fellowship of the Eucharist should make business leaders question treating contingent workers as a peripheral work force.
10. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Dennis P. McCann Catholic Social Teaching in an Era of Downsizing: A Resource for Business Ethics
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The paper attempts to provide a basis for exploring the continued relevance of Catholic social teaching to business ethics, by interpreting the historic development of a Catholic work ethic and the traditions of Catholic social teaching in light of contemporary discussions of economic globalization, notably those of Robert Reich and Peter Drucker. The paper argues that the Catholic work ethic and the Church's tradition of social teaching has evolved dynamically in response to the structural changes involved in the history of modern economic development, and thus is well poised to speak to the ethical challenges implicit in the advent of a knowledge-based society. In order to test this thesis, the author sketches an approach to the ethicalchallenge of corporate downsizing that he believes illustrates the continued relevance of Catholic social teaching to business ethics.
11. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Manuel Velasquez Catholic Natural Law and Business Ethics
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This article describes Catholic natural law tradition by examining its origins in the medieval penitentials, the papal decretals, the writings of Thomas Aquinas, and seventeenth-century casuistry. Catholic natural law emerges as a flexible ethic that conceives of human nature as rational and as oriented to certain basic goods that ought to be pursued and whose pursuit is made possible by the virtues. Four approaches to natural law that have evolved within the United States during the twentieth century are then identified, including the traditionalist, proportionalist, right reason, and historicist approaches. The normative implications of these approaches are discussed in relation to ethical issues in the tobacco industry, ITT under Geneen, the marketing of pharmaceuticals, affirmative action, and bribery. It is argued that Alasdair MacIntyre is correct in claiming that the natural law tradition issuperior to the liberal ethics of modern deontology and utilitarianism.
12. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Eastern Orthodoxy
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13. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Stanley S. Harakas An Eastern Orthodox Perspective on Economic Life, Property, Work, and Business Ethics
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Eastern Orthodox Christianity carries forward a moral tradition from the earliest Christian period, in the belief that scriptural and patristic teaching remains applicable to the contemporary economic sphere of life. The Church Fathers focused on the ownership of property and the ethical acquisition of wealth and its use; they stressed special concern for the poor and disadvantaged. Carried forward through the Byzantine and modern eras, these early Christian understandings now can be applied through a basic and elementary natural law morality to business activities. The Orthodox approach embodies traditional virtue and character ethics as well. The essay concludes by applying these Orthodox approaches to two current issues: the charging of interest and internet ethics.
14. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Mormonism
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15. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
F. Neil Brady, Warner Woodworth A Mormon Perspective on Business and Economics
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This essay examines the doctrine, the history, and the current institutions of the Mormon Church as they relate to business and economic activity. The Mormon tradition emphasizes cornmunitarian principles such as economic cooperation and equality; these which conflict with modern values of wealth acquisition, competition, and individualism. While Mormon businesspeople typically have adopted these values and become integrated quite comfortably into mainstream American business life, many have resolved the conflict by using their business skills to promote more communitarian ideals throughout the world.
16. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Protestantism: The African American Church
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17. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Darryl M. Trimiew, Michael Greene How We Got Over: The Moral Teachings of the African-American Church on Business Ethics
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An analysis of the business ethics of the African-American church during and after Reconstruction reveals that it is a conflicted ethic, oscillating between two poles. The first is the sacralization of the business ethic of Booker T. Washington, in which self-help endeavors that valorize American capitalism but are preferentially oriented to the African-American community are advanced as the best and only options for economic uplift. The second is the "Blackwater" tradition, which rejects any racial discrimination and insists upon social justice. The inability of the Washingtonian business ethic to address the needs of the Black underclass are explored. A new business ethic is called for, which would be committed to meeting the basic needs of the mostdisadvantaged members of American society and those of the "international poor."
18. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Protestantism: Baptists
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19. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Daniel B. McGee Business Ethics Among Baptists: A Story of Competing Visions
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This study focuses upon two competing visions of wealth and work among Baptists in America and how these different visions have shaped Baptist business ethics. Russell H. Conwell reflected the Reformed tradition's inclination toward what came to be called the Protestant work ethic and its defense of capitalism. He contended that American capitalism presented an open door for any diligent worker to achieve deserved riches. Walter Rauschenbusch reflected the Anabaptist heritage in the stream of Baptist history. He challenged the dominant ethos of the industrial revolution in America and its preference for the interests of management; he called instead for the protection of the worker from the monopolistic power of the capitalists. These two contrasting postures influenced the response of Baptists to the labor-management struggle.
20. Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business: Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business
Protestantism: Evangelicals
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