A Catholic Spirituality for Business
The Logic of Gift
The expression "logic of gift" was introduced into official Catholic social teaching by Pope Benedict XVI, who presented it in association with the principle of gratuitousness, which in turn is an expression of fraternity. However, before Caritas in Veritate and ever since Marcel Mauss's groundbreaking work The Gift, the importance of gift for human relationships and for the cohesion of society had been increasingly recognized. Alain Caillé and Jacques T. Godbout further fleshed out the implication of gift for contemporary society in the context of secular social sciences, striving to overcome utilitarianism. It was the "civil economy" movement, however, that exercised greatest influence on Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate.
This present volume reflects on the general scope of these notions for business and society. This is done by structuring the book in two parts, each dedicated to one of the two concepts. Each part has two general chapters and two that apply the notions to business and to business education. The authors are a mix of well-known emeritus professors and younger talented emerging scholars. We have also been careful to combine European with American authors.
A Catholic Spirituality for Business: The Logic of Gift does not seek to provide a definitive answer to all social challenges, but to make a contribution to a better understanding of Christian spirituality and gift in connection with business organizations. The authors in this book are convinced that markets can be ethical and social, that moral change towards ethical capitalism is possible.
"A Catholic Spirituality for Business is timely in a business world that seems to grow more disenchanting and dehumanizing by the day. And the more specific focus on the logic of gift is an exciting new development in thinking about business spirituality."—Lloyd Sandelands, University of Michigan
"Mathematical measurement and modeling of economic transactions may convey the misleading impression that business decisions are driven by quantitative analysis and not values. Martin Schlag, Domenec Melé, and their colleagues draw on Pope Francis's writings and the growing academic literature on spirituality in the workplace to shine a light on the humanity that is at the heart of all economic activity. The essays point to the potential for this humanity to act as a counterbalance to inequality and suggest paths toward more sustainable forms of capitalism."—Stefanie Ann Lenway, Dean and Opus Distinguished Chair, Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis-St. Paul
"As the flooded market of 'social enterprises' and books on finding meaning in business make clear, Pope Francis, and before him, Pope Benedict XVI, strike a nerve when they call for an economy centered on the human person, operating on the logic of charity, and which includes the poor in developing solutions to their own needs. The question is: how? Not every 'spiritual' solution is practicable or sustainable, or worthy of the human person. With this fine collection of essays, Martin Schlag makes a worthy contribution to those of us considering this 'how' — how to live as a Christian disciple in the world of business."—Andreas Widmer, Director, Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship, The Catholic University of America