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Spirituality, Inc.

Spirituality, Inc.: Religion in the American Workplace

Lake Lambert
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 228
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  • Book Info
    Spirituality, Inc.
    Book Description:

    For many Americans spirituality and business seem to be polar opposites: one is concerned with lofty questions of ultimate significance, the other with mundane matters of the daily grind. Yet over the last two decades the two have become increasingly linked, and as the barriers between them are broken down, many see this as a revolutionary shift in American business culture.Lake Lambert III provides a comprehensive examination of the workplace spirituality movement, and explores how it is both shaping and being shaped by American business culture. Situating the phenomenon in an historical context, Lambert surveys the role of spirituality in business from medieval guilds to industrial "company towns" right up to current trends in the ever-changing contemporary business environment. Using case studies from specific businesses, such as Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby, he analyzes the enhanced benefits and support that workplace spirituality offers to employees, while exposing the conflicts it engenders, including diversity, religious freedom, and discrimination issues.The American workplace today is experiencing dramatic upheaval and change. Spirituality, Inc. offers important insights into the role of religion in this transformation. With employees seeking new ways to strike a proper life-work balance and find meaning in their everyday lives, spirituality in the workplace is a trend that will become increasingly important in the American business landscape. Spirituality, Inc. provides a critical overview of this phenomenon that does not ignore the movement's many positive contributions to the workplace, yet does not overlook the potential for abuse.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-6510-4
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. 1 Finding Meaning in Business
    (pp. 1-20)

    When Patricia Aburdene issued her latest book in theMegatrendsfranchise, she and her sometime partner, John Naisbitt, had been offering their prophecies on American business culture for almost twenty years. The newest edition was unique, however, because it blurred the line between religion and commerce in a way unexpected for a business best seller.Megatrends2010 promised to reveal “ the rise of conscious capitalism” as the new revolution in corporate operations, consumer behavior, investing, business leadership, and work itself. Filled with interviews, anecdotes, and predictions in bold face,Megatrends2010 concluded that capitalism was being transformed from an...

  5. 2 The Genealogy of Corporate Spirituality
    (pp. 21-50)

    One way of viewing the phenomenon of corporate spirituality is to see the corporation as the new οικος of our time. In the ancient world, the Greek word for household—οικος—captured as part of its meaning all areas of human life. Used throughout the New Testament,οικοςmeant much more than “household” does today; in that time the household was truly the center of economic production, faith, and family life. On the land and in the household all the necessities of life were produced, and at the hearth symbols of faith and devotion would remind the family of the...

  6. 3 The Making of a “Christian Company”
    (pp. 51-78)

    In a small region of the Tembrius River Valley in Asia Minor, twelve obscure burial stones have for decades puzzled archeologists and historians of the ancient world. By style, all appear to be from the same stonecutting workshop, and all are dated from the middle of the third century to the beginning of the fourth. The stones carry the standard inscriptions from burial monuments of that period, the name of the deceased and the giver of the monument, but they also include something unique. Towards the bottom of the stone, in Greek, are carved the words “Christians for Christians” (Χριστιανοι...

  7. 4 Jesus as a Management Guru
    (pp. 79-98)

    With the striking title ofJesus, CEO(1995), Laurie Beth Jones concisely yoked religious and business symbolism in a way never done before. Over the next ten years Jones’s book became a best seller, was translated into four languages, and sparked several sequels. It also marked the beginning of a new emphasis on Jesus as a teacher of business and management techniques. Prior to her career as a writer, Jones was the founder of advertising agencies in El Paso and San Diego. While she had dedicated her advertising agencies to God’s glory, Jones increasingly wondered whether she was fulfilling that...

  8. 5 The Spiritual Education of a Manager
    (pp. 99-124)

    In the small Iowa town of Fairfield, Maharishi University of Management’s Indian-themed architecture is a sharp contrast to typical midwestern styles. At first glance, the curriculum Maharishi offers seems like other colleges in the region with degrees in several disciplines and a large focus on business management at both undergraduate and graduate levels. What distinguishes Maharishi, however, is its founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, upon whose philosophy the university is based. Looking deeper, the curriculum of the university is premised on the Vedic philosophy advanced by Maharishi, and the university claims to be a center for “consciousness-based education.” In the heart...

  9. 6 Team Chaplains, Life Coaches, and Whistling Referees
    (pp. 125-152)

    When the industrialists in Pullman and Gastonia hired ministers to serve employees and residents in their company towns, they began a tradition of workplace chaplains that continues today. But times change. Chaplains at work have taken several forms over the last century, and religious pluralism, which once meant diversity in Christian denominations, is now much more complex. Religious traditions other than Christianity have grown rapidly in the United States and so has a post-Christian populace who consider themselves “spiritual but not religious.” This chapter describes how workplace chaplains have both evolved in mission and grown in number amid these changes,...

  10. 7 The Future of Workplace Spirituality
    (pp. 153-176)

    It could have been the plot of almost any modern-day romance novel. A couple, living in married bliss, invites two guests for an extended stay. The first is a friend and former military officer, unemployed but highly skilled, who the husband hopes can assist with a major home renovation and landscaping project. The husband looks forward to the male comradery and help with design and construction, but he also wants to aide his friend’s spirit as well as his pocketbook in a time of need. The second guest is the wife’s niece for whom she has great affection undoubtedly due...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 177-204)
  12. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 205-208)
  13. Index
    (pp. 209-215)
  14. About the Author
    (pp. 216-216)