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Theology and organization

By Bent Meier Sorensen, Sverre Spoelstra, Heather Hoepfl and Simon Critchley


This Introduction argues for the importance of theology for the study of organization. It also draws the contours of a possible 'theology of organization'. Theology of organization, as we use it here, does not refer to a study of organization that is rooted in faith, nor does it refer to a study of religious practices in organizations. Instead, theology of organization recognizes that the way we think about and act in organizations is profoundly structured by theological concepts. In this editorial to the special issue we have three aims: to outline what theology of organization is, to show how it builds upon Carl Schmitt's 'political theology' and Giorgio Agamben's 'economic theology' and finally to propose three different forms that theology of organization can take. These forms of theology of organization respectively (1) analyse organizational concepts as secularized theological concepts, (2) show how theological concepts have survived unaltered in organizational contexts and (3) show how theological concepts have been corrupted or lost their original meaning when deployed in organizational contexts. In the final section of this editorial, we introduce the five contributions to this issue and indicate how they connect to the three forms of theology of organization that we have proposed

Topics: Business Administration, Giorgio Agamben, economic history, economic theology, organization, political theology, Carl Schmitt, religion, sacred
Publisher: 'SAGE Publications'
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1350508412437464
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