Overview

The Purpose

The purpose of the Princeton Faith & Work Initiative is to generate intellectual frameworks and practical resources for the issues and opportunities surrounding faith/religion/spirituality and work.  The Initiative investigates the ways in which the resources of various religious traditions and spiritual identities shape and inform engagement with diverse workplace issues as ethics, values, vocation, meaning, purpose, and how people live out their faith/religion/spirituality in an increasingly pluralistic world.  The Initiative explores pressing marketplace topics, including ethics, global competition and its ramifications, wealth creation and poverty, diversity and inclusion, conflicting stakeholder interests, and social responsibility.

The Faith & Work Initiative accomplishes its mission through a mixture of research, teaching, lectures, conferences, and other programs geared toward students, academics, and leaders in the marketplace. The Initiative draws on the resources found in many of the world's great religious traditions and teachings, as well as on interdisciplinary insights and dialogue with a wide range of thought leaders. In doing so, it develops scholarly frameworks and practical resources to engage constructively the issues and opportunities surrounding faith and work.

The Background

The study of religion often investigates beliefs, rituals, and practices, and how they manifest themselves in various spheres of life.  One such sphere, the workplace, is emerging as an important field of inquiry, where the role of faith/religion/spirituality is of increasing academic and practical interest. For many, religion is what shapes and informs their value system, ethics, character, leadership, and attitude toward work.  Research shows that many students, workers, marketplace professionals, and leaders wish to live a holistic life that integrates, among other things, faith/religion/spirituality and work, but have few resources to help them do that.  To address this, in 2008 Center for the Study of Religion (CSR) Director Robert Wuthnow proposed, and the Academic Planning Group endorsed, the founding of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative.  The Initiative is housed in CSR.