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Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

2001

Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

Shirley J. Roels
Pages 237-255
DOI: 10.5840/spiritgds200121

The Business Ethics of Evangelicals

Understanding the evangelical framework for business ethics is important, since business evangelicals are well positioned to exercise considerable future influence. This article develops the context for understanding evangelical business ethics by examining their history, theology, and culture. It then relates the findings to evangelical foundations for business ethics. The thesis is that business ethics, as practiced by those in the evangelical community, has developed inductively from a base of applied experience. As a result, emphases on piety, witnessing, tithing, and neighborliness, important foundations in the evangelical model for business ethics, have resulted in a multitude of applied ethical strategies. This operative ethics model is then evaluated, particularly in regarding to its limited focus on the fundamental purposes and structures of business. The article concludes with several recommended sources that can enrich the evangelical tradition of business ethics, suggesting many resources from the Reformed Christian tradition as well as other ideas from contemporary Protestant and Catholic thinkers.

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