IMPLICATIONS FOR BUSINESS ETHICS OF AN INTERRELIGIOUS APPROACH TO SPIRITUALITY OF WORK: BHAGAVADGITA AND CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING

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Abstract
This essay is an interreligious study of spirituality of work and its implications for business ethics. It considers the normative / doctrinal teachings on human work in Bhagavadgita (BG) and Catholic Social Teaching (CST). In as much as the focus of this study is spirituality of work, it does not present an in-depth and comprehensive comparison of Hindu and Catholic religions. Similarities and differences between the texts under consideration will be examined, but such examination will be limited to the most critical and relevant points. It will begin by exploring a Hindu spirituality of work based on BG. The paper will analyze salient ideas and relevant passages in the text that tackle the religio-spiritual significance of our daily engagement in the world through paid work from a Hindu perspective. A discussion on major themes in CST that resonate with BG’s teachings on work will follow. These themes will serve as analytical elements that will frame an interreligious spirituality of work from the two points of view. The interreligious analysis will demonstrate that as far as BG and CST are concerned, spirituality of work can be a unifying force, a locus for cross-cultural dialogue, and a bridge between different beliefs. Next, the essay will tackle the implications of a Hindu-Catholic spirituality of work for business ethics. It will explain how the two textual traditions deepen our understanding of work by providing answers to the questions why must we work, what is the right attitude to work, and how our work connects us with other beings and with our ultimate end. Finally, the conclusion will demonstrate how the findings of this study relate and enhance the outcomes of current research in spirituality of work. Finding common grounds on how different religions regard work would enable business professionals and managers to truly value diversity and inclusiveness and respond ethically to the expression of religions in an increasingly pluralistic workplace.
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Archival date: 2021-12-28
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