From God to good? Faith-based institutions in the secular society
The concept of moral values is gaining influence in contemporary faith-based institutions in secular societies, in part replacing yesterday’s religious devotion. The engagement in values expresses a moral, secularized search for meaning in life. Still, the concern for values within Christian organizations is flavored by the context of religion. Thus, workplace discussions on values include ethical reflexivity as well as ‘unchurched spiritualities’. An action research project is presented, demonstrating this shift in institutional orientation. The project was carried out in a diaconal general hospital in Oslo, Norway over a period of three years. The project addressed and enhanced general ethical sensitivity and the development of awareness of values-in-use throughout leadership and staff. In conclusion, it is argued that ‘critical value reflection’ may be a viable strategy for faith-based institutional practice, combining religious foundational goals with ideals of welfare in the secular society.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Diakonhjemmet University College Department of Diaconia and Leadership, Oslo, Norway 2: Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway
Publication date: March 1, 2012
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