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Faith and Faithfulness in Corporate Theory

47 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2007  

Lyman Johnson

Washington and Lee University - School of Law; University of St. Thomas, St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN - School of Law

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Lyman, Faith and Faithfulness in Corporate Theory. Catholic University Law Review, Vol. 56, 2007; Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2007-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=955844

Lyman Johnson (Contact Author)

Washington and Lee University - School of Law ( email )

Lexington, VA 24450
United States
540-458-8515 (Phone)
540-458-8488 (Fax)

University of St. Thomas, St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN - School of Law

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

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