FABRIC OF THIS WORLD:
by Lee Hardy
concerns all of us: we spend more of our waking hours working than doing
anything else. The importance of work and the need to reflect more fully
and meaningfully on it make Lee Hardy's Fabric of This World a highly
After relating some autobiographical work experiences and commenting briefly on the status of work in our society today, Hardy embarks on a pertinent exploration of our cultural and religious past, looking first at the classical and medieval denigration of work under the ideal of the contemplative life.
Hardy moves on to show how the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformers Luther and Calvin challenged the then-dominant vision of the purpose of human life by articulating the concept of calling, or vocation, giving a new sense of religious dignity to work. Contrasting with the modern secular tendency to either glorify or vilify work, the Christian understanding of vocation regards our work as a participation in God's ongoing creative work through the responsible use of Our gifts in the service of others.
Hardy's expositions in Part One form the groundwork for two main practical applications in Part Two--the first regarding the personal issue of career choice. He develops, among other things, the rich implications of viewing work as a calling. This individual application leads into the extremely important (but often neglected) social issue of job design. Hardy's historical and critical examination of American management theory represents one of the first sustained treatments, from a Christian perspective, of the social and structural dimension of work.
Thoroughly researched, historically grounded, philosophically and theologically informed, and practically oriented, The Fabric of This World makes a unique contribution to the evangelical literature on work and career choice.
Table of Contents