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Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

2001

Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

Stanley S. Harakas
Pages 143-163
DOI: 10.5840/spiritgds200113

An Eastern Orthodox Perspective on Economic Life, Property, Work, and Business Ethics

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.

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