Disruptive Religion: The Case of the Catholic Worker-Priests (1943–1954)

Bell, Emma (2007). Disruptive Religion: The Case of the Catholic Worker-Priests (1943–1954). Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 4(4) pp. 432–442.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14766080709518677


This article suggests that religion can act as a force of creative disturbance in organizations by enabling structural inequalities associated with established managerial practices to be challenged and generating radical alternatives to them. Using the example of the French and Belgian Catholic worker-priests (1943–54), who entered factories to take up manual labour as an essential part of their ministry, the article reviews the influence of the movement, including its role in the development of liberation theology. It is argued that the approach adopted by the worker-priests has methodological implications for the developing study of spirituality in the workplace as well as having the ability to inform understandings of the potential for critical spirituality in contemporary organizations.

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