Theology, Ethics, and Business

Primary Number: THEO 20639

ConStudies Number: X

ConStudies CRN: X

Primary CRN: 14384

Instructor: Clairmont, David (DCLAIRMO) [Primary, 100%]


Attributes: CSTE - CST Elective , THE2 - old Core Dvlpmnt Theo , WKDT-new Core Devel. Theology


This course is intended to be an introduction to Catholic moral theology customized for those discerning a career as a business professional. In the wake of ethical failures at a number of prominent corporations, business leaders have renewed their call for ethical behavior and have begun to establish criteria for hiring morally thoughtful employees and to institute ethics education in the workplace. This is a move which has prompted a number of questions. Are institutions of higher education or small groups of well-meaning business professionals capable of training people to behave ethically? Is the real problem in contemporary business a lack of ethical knowledge, a lack of skill in applying rules to particular cases, or a lack of sensitivity to morally relevant issues? In the first part of the course, we will examine philosophical, theological, and economic interpretations of our current business situation, and we will consider various approaches to thinking about the ethical dimensions of business. In the second part of the course, we will examine the tradition of Catholic theology as a virtue ethics tradition, considering how virtue relates to happiness, law, moral judgment, and one's professional vocation. Third, we will examine Catholic theologies of work and the tradition of Catholic social teaching, with special attention to the relationship between workers and management as well as the norms of justice that ought to govern these relations. The course will conclude with student presentations of original cases.