Original Research

Oor roeping en arbeid in Protestantse etiek

D. J. Smit
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 23, No 2 | a1221 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v23i2.1221 | © 2002 D. J. Smit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 August 2002 | Published: 07 August 2002

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D. J. Smit, Universiteit Stellenbosch, South Africa

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On calling and labour in Protestant ethics.
Several popular and influential theological and ethical studies have recently been published relating to the notion of vocatio (calling) and the role of labour and work. Many of them focus again on the importance of this traditional link between (spiritual) calling and (everyday) work in Christian, and particularly Protestant ethical thought since Luther. This paper argues that the nature of this link has, however, radically changed since Luther's time, and that it can be very confusing if contemporary ethical reflection does not distinguish carefully between Luther's own ideas concerning calling (part 2), later developments within Protestantism (parts 3 and 4), and contemporary ethical challenges (parts 5 and 6). Only by making such careful distinctions, taking into account that human labour no longer plays the same role in modern societies which it played during Luther's time or during later forms of Protestantism, can one develop adequate categories to reflect on the relation between church and work today.


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