Friday, February 02, 2007

"Catholic" ethics

Recently I encountered ideas that compare Catholic and Protestant work ethics; mainly proposing that "Protestant" countries tend to be richer than the "Catholic" ones and this difference has got to do with the different philosophy behind their respective work ethics. This is a broad sweeping statement that many have sought to analyze; whether to debunk or to affirm.

I’m going to start a series of posts to explore this theme. In particular, I’m going to focus on the Church's teachings of social justice, and look at Catholic-owned businesses and Catholic-related businesses and see whether this is reflected in their work ethics. (Read: are they really that different from their "Protestant" counterparts?)

To start with, here's a book review. It basically says that money isn't that important for Catholics, but it is a symbol of affirmation in Protestantism. I don't agree with this point the original author makes:

Tropman points out that in a Catholic culture, work, though obviously important, “does not have sacred personal and transcendental meaning, nor does it become the sine qua non of social acceptance.” For a Catholic, one’s vocation is his calling to the priesthood or religious life or marriage, not his job.

(More coming up...)

If anyone out there has any suggestions about what to read, what to look up, just drop me a note: catholiclinuxmonkey ( at ) gmail ( dot ) com. Thanks!


J.T. said...


I thought you would have made this entry earlier!

Antonia said...

JT, all good endeavor requires some good chewing of the materials :)

Thanks for the article, I'm reading a few more things on this theme now...