Faith and Faithfulness in Corporate Theory
Washington and Lee University - School of Law; University of St. Thomas, St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN - School of Law
Catholic University Law Review, Vol. 56, 2007
Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2007-03
Corporate law theory has been vastly enriched over the last thirty years by the insights of numerous disciplinary perspectives. One vantage point conspicuously missing, however, is that of religious faith. This reflects a social norm of uncertain strength, not a legal requirement. Moreover, the absence of religious voice in corporate law is something odd because many business people - like many others in the United States - are people of faith, and faith can, at least in the fiduciary duty area, serve as a rich resource for better understanding the post-Disney legal obligation to be faithful. There are many benefits for permitting and encouraging business people (and their lawyers and corporate theorists) to be more open about the connection between religious faith and business. Business people themselves benefit from gaining another source for understanding their legal duties and from the ability to engage in honest conversation. Corporate conduct itself may also benefit by altering the social norm of suppressing religious speech. Finally, greater comfort in the corporate milieu may serve to usefully reduce current skittishness about religious thinking and speech in the larger social arena, a plus in a pluralist society.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 47
Date posted: January 10, 2007