Religion Dispatches reviews Lake Lambert’s Spirituality, Inc.: Religion in the American Workplace (NYU Press, 2009). While the book offers a good overview of modern workplace spirituality, the reviewer is troubled by its silence about contradictions between Christianity, capitalism, and faith-based economic justice movements. “Exploitative working conditions,” she insists, “can’t be justified by religious rhetoric.”
For anyone who has worked desk jobs at institutions like Hebrew College or the YWCA, workplace spirituality can seem to be an inconspicuous part of daily life. But it’s a different story when people bring their faith into secular work environments. In Lake Lambert’s new book, Spirituality Inc., he tackles such diverse topics as religious-based civil rights complaints about the workplace and how post-industrial revolution de-skilling of workers took the spirit, so to speak, out of mass production.
Citing thinkers from John Calvin to Max Weber, Lambert explains the increased demands of industrial production, deconstructing dehumanizing management methods such as Taylorism and Fordism as he moves into the rise of personal development programs that became popular in the 1960s.
Read the full review here.