Working AlternativesAmerican and Catholic Experiments in Work and Economy

Working AlternativesAmerican and Catholic Experiments in Work and Economy

John C. Seitz and Christine Firer Hinze

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9780823288359

Publisher: Fordham University Press


Popular interest in the kinds of conditions that make work productive, growing media attention to the grinding cycle of poverty, and the widening sense that consumption must become sustainable and just, all contribute to an atmosphere thirsty for humanistic economic analysis. This volume offers such analysis from a novel and generative diversity of vantage points, including religious and secular histories, theological ethics, and business management. In particular, Working Alternatives brings modern Roman Catholic forms of engaging with economic questions—embodied in the evolving set of documents that make up the area of “Catholic social thought”—into conversation with one another and with non-Catholic experiments in economic thought and practice. Clustered not by discipline but by their emphasis on either 1) new ways of seeing economic practice 2) new ways of valuing human activity, or 3) implementation of new ways of working, the volume’s essays facilitate the necessarily interdisciplinary thinking demanded by the complexities of economic sustainability and justice. Collectively, the works gathered here assert and test a challenging and far-reaching hypothesis: economic theories, systems, and practices—ways of conceiving, organizing and enacting work, management, supply, production, exchange, remuneration, wealth, and consumption—rely on basic, often unexamined, presumptions about human personhood, relations, and flourishing.

Table of Contents

Front Matter


John C. Seitz and Christine Firer Hinze

Part I: Seeing Differently: Alternative Visions of Economy and Work

Part II: Valuing Differently: Challenging Work and Business as Usual

The Homemaker as Worker

Kirsten Swinth

Working Alternatives

Michael Pirson

Part III: Practicing Differently: Creating Alternative Ways of Working