Business as a Calling

Michael Novak, Author
Michael Novak, Author Free Press $25.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-684-82748-3
Hardcover - 978-0-02-874089-8
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In straightforward language, Novak (Belief and Unbelief) sets out to refute the popular conception that business leaders are materialistic and rapacious, asserting that ""business not only creates social connections, lifts its participants out of poverty, and builds the foundation of democracy, but also can and must be morally uplifting."" His central conceit is that, like the work of priests and ministers, the labors of businessmen and -women are often animated by a sense of calling. Novak cites a 1990 poll that found that after military officers, ""more people in business attended church every week than any other elite."" While it remains to be proven that the morals espoused in church or temple can and do hold sway on the battlefields of market competition, Novak's meditations should cause those who believe ""enlightened capitalism"" to be an oxymoron to think twice. Author tour. (June) FYI: Novak won the 1994 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.
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