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Church Ethics And Its Organizational Context

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Overview

Church Ethics and Its Organizational Context is the first book to provide a broadly interdisciplinary approach to understanding the leadership crisis in the Catholic Church in the wake of the sex abuse scandal and how it was handled. Well-known scholars, religious clergy, and laymen in the trenches of church formation and leadership come together from the disciplines of organizational behavior, theology, sociology, history, and law, to foster the creation of a new code of ethics that is both ecclesial and professional. Touching on issues of governance, authority, accountability, and transparency, this volume goes on to specifically explore whether and how professional ethics can shape the identity and actions of Church leaders, ministers, and their congregations. While evoked by the sex scandal in the Church, the essays in this book raise questions that have implications far beyond this current issue, to much broader issues such as the role of professionalism in ethics and what it means for an organization to engage in moral action.

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Editorial Reviews

Catholicbooksreview.Com
Drawing on multiple disciplines, this book sheds light on factors that created the conditions for the sex abuse scandal and initiates a conversation about the possibility of a professional code of ethics for church leaders...[it] invites church leaders and academics to continue this important conversation that promotes ethical reflection on professional ministry.
— Angela Senander, 2007
Administrative Science Quarterly
While drawing from a rich range of perspectives, the volume presents a set of common themes....The volume should be useful to those seeking to understand the causes and consequences of the scandal, to suggest or implement corrective action, or to apply its lessons in other contexts.
— Ramon J. Aldag, University of Wisconsin-Madision
Margaret A. Farley
This book should be required reading for all members of all churches, and especially for all church leaders or anyone in a particular office or role in the church. The interdisciplinary essays in this book never lose their clear and solid focus on ethical guidelines for the internal life of the church and its external mission. We have here, therefore, a remarkable new set of insights into church relationships and roles, and a significantly new understanding of the church itself. Moral responsibility is finally brought together in very specific ways with profound faith and accountable service. The result holds great promise for new life in the multiple concrete situations of every church.
Andre L. Delbecq
I sat down to review and ended up devouring this book. At last we have a comprehensive perspective on the American Roman Catholic Church that combines sound ecclesiology with a contemporary organizational critique.

This book will empower those trained in organizational theory and sociology to enter into the dialog of the present crisis of the Church no longer having to feel that the domain is restricted to psychology and moral theology.

Donald Cozzens
The essays collected here are unparalleled in the breadth and depth of their analysis of a church in crisis. Moreover, the authors take us beyond their penetrating analysis to a realistic vision of renewal and reform.
Catholic Books Review - Angela Senander
Drawing on multiple disciplines, this book sheds light on factors that created the conditions for the sex abuse scandal and initiates a conversation about the possibility of a professional code of ethics for church leaders...[it] invites church leaders and academics to continue this important conversation that promotes ethical reflection on professional ministry.
Thomas G. Cummings
Bartunek, Hinsdale, and Keenan have edited an impressive volume of multi-disciplinary perspectives on unethical behavior. Analyzing sex abuse in the Catholic Church, the chapters explore the complex causes underlying the scandal and show how the larger organizational context contributed to it. The book goes far beyond church abuses to provide a comprehensive understanding of how unethical behavior can emerge in all kinds of social contexts and how it should be handled. Anyone with a serious interest in ethical behavior in modern organizations will find it a compelling read.
Administrative Science Quarterly - Ramon J. Aldag
While drawing from a rich range of perspectives, the volume presents a set of common themes....The volume should be useful to those seeking to understand the causes and consequences of the scandal, to suggest or implement corrective action, or to apply its lessons in other contexts.
December 2008 Catholic Books Review
Readers will benefit from the various perspectives that multiple disciplines provide, which will undoubtedly allow them to consider the crisis and professional ethics through new categories.
Horizons
This book of essays is well put together...[the] volume in its focus and style will appeal to anyone concerned about the future of the Catholic Church....All college libraries should definitely have it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742532489
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Series: Boston College Church in the 21st Century Series , #1
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 0.51 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean M. Bartunek, RSCJ, is Robert A and Evelyn J. Ferris Chair and professor of organization studies at Boston College. Her most recent book is Organizational and Educational Change. Mary Ann Hinsdale, I.H.M., is associate professor of theology at Boston College. She is co-author of 'It Comes From the People': Community Development and Local Theology. James F. Keenan, SJ, is professor of theological ethics at Boston College and author of Works of Mercy and Moral Wisdom with Sheed & Ward.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Understanding the crisis in the church 3
2 The sexual abuse scandal as social drama 17
3 The six ages of Catholicism in America 31
4 The struggle to preserve religious capital : a sociological perspective on the Catholic church in the United States 43
5 Ecclesiological perspectives on church reform 57
6 Looking good vs. being good : pitfalls of maintaining perceptions of strong leadership following organizational scandals 69
7 Toward an ecclesial professional ethics 83
8 Renewing the psychological contracts of the clergy and laity 97
9 Organizational morality 115
10 Ethics codes, intervention, and corruption reform methods for ecclesial professionals 123
11 A professional code of ethics reflecting the nature of a Christian vocation and an understanding of leadership in the church 137
12 A professional code of ethics? 147
13 Toward an ecclesiastical professional ethic : lessons from the legal profession 157
14 Turning pro : theologico-canonical hurdles on the way to a professional ethic for church leaders 169
15 Reflections on ethics, organizations, and church culture 179
16 An ethical church culture 187
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