Using Religion to Promote Corporate Responsibility
70 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2005
Prevailing notions of corporate responsibility and of the role of law in regulating corporations are based on an underlying, but unarticulated, view of the person and the relation between the person and the world. The unarticulated vision is that of an individual independent and separate from others, motivated by self-interest, and possessing an entitlement to all that is in the world. This author proposes here an alternative vision of the person, one rooted in religion, that sees the communion and interrelatedness of all beings and that sees the things of the world not as entitlement, but as gift. This religious view of the person generates a very different notion of an ideal political and economic order and of corporation responsibility and the role of law in regulating corporations. Whether or not one is persuaded by the religious view of the person articulated herein, the discussion serves to illuminate the need to broaden the terms of the debate over the appropriate role of the law in regulating corporations by looking at the unexpressed underpinnings of the political and legal systems within which we operate.
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