The Good that Business Does

Christian Social Thought Series

Robert G. Kennedy

While the disciplines of economics and law teach us much about the character of contemporary business, their descriptions are limited. Drawing on the natural-law tradition’s concept of goods, this monograph offers a fuller treatment of the role of business in society and of its moral obligations. It upholds the importance of business’s fulfillment of private goods, and also outlines the ways in which it contributes to the common good.

There are perhaps more Christians in the field of business than in any other area of endeavor. That this is the case has nothing to do with a special compatibility between Christianity and business, of course; it is simply due to the fact that the broad category of business encompasses so many of the remunerative activities of contemporary life. Business is everywhere. It is only natural that Christians will be active participants.

Yet, as Robert Kennedy notes in this volume, Christian social thought has paid less attention to business than the prevalence of the latter would merit. Christian social thinkers have been especially negligent with respect to articulating the ways in which enterprise contributes to common and private goods: “the good that business does.” Professor Kennedy, with experience in the business world and expertise in theology and management, begins to redress this deficiency in this monograph.

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