Theology of Work

The following is a list of sites, as compiled by former parishioner George John, which deal with the topic of the Theology of Work.  To visit the referenced sites, just click on the underlined blue text link.


While this information was presented nearly twenty years ago, the messages conveyed are still most valid.



Compiled by G. John
17 Feb. 2001




1. The Kuyper Foundation – “Trinity and Work,” Thomas Schirmacher, Christianity and Society, Vol VI, No. 2 April 1996,


A Critique of the View of Daily Work in Other Religions and in Marxism

“This paper seeks to deal with the biblical theology of work and to show the importance of the doctrine of the Trinity[1] in ethics and the Christian reconstruction of society. Every work ethic is a reflection of the god of the society that embraces that ethic. Examples will be given of how the God of the Old and New Testaments is reflected in the biblical laws concerning work. In each case the question will be asked, What will be lost if another god or another religion or worldview is substituted for the Creator revealed in the Bible?”


2. Integrating A Franciscan Spirituality of Work Into the Leadership1 of the Workplace

“St. Francis is probably the world’s best known, most recognized, and respected saint. Yet it is difficult to imagine that a spirituality of work could evolve from a saint immortalized all too frequently as a concrete yard ornament with a bird perched on his shoulder and several wild animals gazing at him admiringly. This over romanticized caricature of the person of Francis could lead one to believe that Francis wasn’t much of a man at all, but some lyric, almost mythic figure who’s only love was animals. Quite to the contrary however, Francis was a man of multiple spiritual insights who left a legacy that continues to impact the world in a profound and meaningful way.”


3. Theology of Work, A report of a committee appointed by the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney.


The report focuses and responds to the principle stated in the resolution adopted by the Synod, viz.,
“This Synod recognises, encourages and supports the roles of Godly men and women in their everyday work vocation – as distinct from ordained or full-time ministry – and affirms its belief that such work of service in and to the world, done in the name of the Lord Jesus and by God’s enabling, is true and laudable service rendered to God Himself by those whose vocation and ministry it is, and is no less acceptable to Him than the Ministry of the Word.”.


4. “Theology of Work,” Robert J. Batule, A Homiletic an Pastoral Review,


“The Holy Father teaches that work must test and engage the whole person, not just the physical aspect.”


5. “Rerum Novarum, On the Condition of the Working Classes,” Pope Leo XIII, 1891,


A 22-page encyclical letter dealing with all aspects of work as undertaken in the 19th century.  Much is still universal and applicable today.


6. Work–Benedictine View


This article deals with the following questions:
In what ways are work and creation related?
What role does work play in the spiritual journey?
How is work a signifiant part of Benedictine life in particular?
From a Christian perspective, is work a curse or a blessing?
How does a Benedictine perspective of work compare to other more prevalent perspectives of work in modern society?


7. “Theology of Play,” J. Hayward, (A contrast to work, but essential to our well-being! )


“Most of Christianity that I’ve come into contact with has a well developed theology of work; sometimes called the Protestant Work Ethic, it is summarized in the verse, “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as if unto the Lord.” (Col. 3:23). A mature Christian is characterized by hard work, and I do not wish to detract from that, but there is a counterpart to theology of work: theology of play.”


8. “Slow Down, you’re moving too fast,” from Perspectives, June/July 2000, reprinted in CONTEXT, December 1, 2000.  (Sorry no URL; this too is a contrast or counter balance to Work.)


9. THEOLOGY OF WORK by Stanley L. Derickson, Ph.D. 1992, (An essay on work categorized as, ethical, acceptable, unacceptable, peaceable, and godly). A somewhat fundamentalist approach, but contains some good thoughts.



10. A THEOLOGY OF WORK FOR CHANGING TIMES Ed Zablocki, SFO Co-chair, Work Commission (short commentary as preface  to a discussion by a group studying theology of work)  Introductory quotation: “Let them esteem work as both a gift and a sharing in the creation, redemption and service of the human community. (art 16)”



11. John Paul II: Laborem Exercens A Bibliography by
Gerald Darring—~ 80 references from Roman Catholic view.



12. Christianizing the Everyday by Pastor Richard Dresselhaus, (a general treatment of spirituality in all that we do; includes a smidgen on work)



13. Welcome to a hub for locating serious Christian theological activity on the Internet (now in its fifth year of operation!). General base for studying theology.



14. Bibliography-Spirit of Work, May 2000, Compiled by Judi Neal, Ph.D.,(29 pages; over 500 citations!)



15. Internet Resources for the Study and Teaching of Theology, (a general set on theology)



16. Internet Resources in Religion and Theology, (general source on theology, with links to other sites)


17. ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLES..Populorum Progressio

Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Pope Paul VI promulgated on March 26,


The introductory paragraph is:

“The development of peoples has the Church’s close attention, particularly the development of those peoples who are striving to escape from hunger, misery, endemic diseases and ignorance; of those who are looking for a wider share in the benefits of civilization and a more active improvement of their human qualities; of those who are aiming purposefully at their complete fulfillment. Following on the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council a renewed consciousness of the demands of the Gospel makes it her duty to put herself at the service of all, to help them grasp their serious problem in all its dimensions, and to convince them that solidarity in action at this turning point in human history is a matter of urgency.”


18. Canadian Institute for Law,Theology and
Public Policy: references to books and tapes on Apologetics,Debates, Human Rights,Jurisprudence, Philosophy of History, Public Policy, Theology, and Others.



19. Controversial Engagements, Michael Novak, (A fascinating account of Michael Novak’s career and the development of his “theology of life.”)



20. Articles on Work, “The Living Pulpit,” July-September 1996 No URL; Copy available for loan.  See Michael Kreutzer, George John or John Webster


21. America, Thomas J. Mccarthy, Sept 12, 1998
The economic injustice is real, but Jose’s attitude makes for a transcendent, personal justice.(theology of work; injustice of low-paying jobs done by non-citizen laborers)


22. Course Introduction and Overview on “The Meaning of Work” offered at SDSU by Prof. Dunn.  From 28 Jan 2001 to20 May 2001. Pedagogical Goals: to interrogate the concept of “work” from historical, political, cultural, and philosophical perspectives.



Topics: Work and Ethics; Work and Job Design; Work, Efficiency, and Technology; Work and its Rewards; Work and Organizational Design; Work. Authority, Power, the State, and Globalization; Work and the Border; Work and Gender; Work and Family; Work, Professionalism, and Integrity; Work and the Academy; Work and Passion.

Assigned Readings from the following books:


Black, Bob. The Abolition of Work.
Terkel, Studs. Working;
Batule, Robert J. Theology of Work
Neal, Judi. Work as Nourishment;
Rutte, Martin. Spirituality in the Workplace;
Aronowitz, Stanley & William DiFazio. Technoculture and the Future of Work;
Wolman, William & Anne Colamosca. The Judas Economy: The Triumph of Capital and the Betrayal of Work.;
Moore, Thomas. Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life;
Campbell, Susan. Working With a Sense of the Whole: The Essence of the Community;
Hardt, Michael & Antonio Negri. Communism as Critique;
Haraway, Donna. A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980’s;
Haraway, Donna. Women’s Place is in the Jungle;
Schwartz, Howard. Masculinity and the Meaning of Work: A Response to Manichean Feminism;
Chavez, Leo. Families, Domestic Groups, and Networks;
Dalla Costa, Giovanna Franca. Development and Economic Crisis: Women’s Labour and Social Policies in Venezuela in the Context of International Indebtedness;
Frankl, Viktor. Man’s Search for Meaning;
Johnson, Thomas S. How the Notion of a Calling Manifests Itself in the World of Business: One Viewpoint;
Sullivan, William M. Work and Integrity;
Dixon, Poppy. The Right to be Lazy;
Shekerjian, Denise. For the Love of it ;
Whitmyer, Claude and Ernest Callenbach. Mindfulness and Meaningful Work: Explorations in Right Living.