Faith of Our Fathers: Contemporary Lessons from Historical Christians on Integrating Faith and Business
AbstractEfforts to integrate faith and work have existed for as long as people have followed the God of the Bible. Christian businesspeople of today have much to learn from the experiences of their forbearers. One particularly instructive community is the Quakers of eighteenth century America, particularly those who led the whaling industry based on Nantucket Island. This paper examines Quaker whaling practices in light of five principles central to the Quaker faith: work is ordained by God, the purpose of business is service, the dignity and equality of all human beings, peacemaking, and steadfast convictions. Connections to contemporary business practices are made throughout the paper. The paper concludes with several challenges to current Christians in business who desired to live lives as fully integrated as their Quaker forefathers seemed to live.