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Faith, Morals, and Money: What the World's Religions Tell Us About Ethics in the Marketplace Hardcover – September 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0826413420 ISBN-10: 0826413420 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826413420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826413420
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,258,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Zinbarg calls his work "moral bricolage." A bricoleur does maintenance with ready-to-hand tools and materials, often to stave off the costly intervention of specialists. Accordingly, a long-time bricoleur has gathered lots of odds and ends, on the chance that they will come in handy. With 35 years in management at Prudential behind him, Zinbarg has been on the job a long time, and his reflections are most interesting when, in the case studies in the book's third part, he puts his collection to use. By contrast, his review of religious traditions in part 2 is nothing special, his rationale in part 1 for bringing religion into the discussion of business is hardly surprising, and the fact that his advice in part 4 occupies only 20 pages is frustrating. Still, those convinced that business ethics is a matter of tinkering to keep an unchallenged system running smoothly will be pleased, and the musings of this experienced manager who is uncomfortable with the separation of ethics from economics should appeal to many nonexecutives, too. Steven Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"In this remarkable book, Edward Zinbarg provides his peers in the business community with the opportunity to listen afresh to the teachings they may have first learned on their parents' knees or in Sunday school-teachings, which they may still honor but have neglected to practice in their everyday practices in the work place. He also teaches us a surprising lesson: that the ethical imperatives of the world's great religions may be different but they are complementary. Faith, Morals, and Money demonstrates how the comparative study of religious ethics both deepens and broadens our sense of what is right and wrong in the marketplace."—Peter Ochs, Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia

"In the past 25 years, business ethics has become a growth industry, and its chief academic sponsors have been philosophers. Out of his long career as an executive in the field of investment, Edward Zinbarg believes that business ethicists have neglected 'the sense of compelling urgency that religious thinking can offer.' His book offers convincing evidence of this claim. He surveys six ancient religious traditions and demonstrates how their wisdom remains a rich source of reflection on moral questions in business. His finely balanced chapter 8, on new and old ethical challenges of 'globalization,' should be required reading for any Westerner about to do business in Asia."-Donald W. Shriver, Jr., President Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary, New York, and former Adjunct Professor of Ethics, Columbia University School of Business Administration

"Edward Zinbarg doesn't write with the burden of a business leader defending his actions, an economist defending the discipline, or a student of ethics attempting to stay within the confines of that profession: he writes as a thoughtful person who has the benefit of having shouldered all three roles at one time or another. In doing so, he transcends the limitations of each singular perspective, while building on their possibilities, and forging their integration. In a similar way, Zinbarg expects that the reader will not hide behind any of these guises-but come forward into dialogue, with an openness and honesty the subject so clearly merits. Faith, Morals, and Money meets each of us where we are, and encourages us to do something remarkable: to take our whole selves with us, including our religious beliefs, when we go into the marketplace, either as a seller, buyer, employer, or employee. It's a radical argument, but in a book steeped in the realities of business life, it ultimately becomes a convincing, and perhaps even a life-altering proposition."—Cynthia A. Montgomery, Timken Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

"In this compelling and readable study, Edward Zinbarg argues that although ethical standards have been marginalized in mainstream economic theory, ethical situations abound in the practice of business. Toward redressing the gap between theory and practice, Zinbarg takes as axiomatic the continuing centrality of religion as the great reservoir of collective knowledge shaping and inspiring current quests for enduring marketplace ethics-even among those who see themselves beyond any religious system. Zinbarg lucidly presents ethical paradigms from both Eastern and Western religious traditions, and convincingly applies their wisdom to such perennial business issues as pricing, advertising and the conditions of employment. In this genuinely pluralistic examination, he illustrates how these diverse traditions share a historic understanding of market ethics as a fully integrated dimension of ethical life. Zinbarg has made a contribution to the critical process of reintegrating economic activity into our broader perspective of what it means to lead the just life-on both the individual and communal levels. A skillful blend of theory and case study, Faith, Morals, and Money is at once an important inquiry and a powerful practical guide."
—Karen Pechilis Prentisss, Associate Professor of Asian Religions, Drew University and Christopher S. Taylor, Associate Professpr of Religion and Islamic Studies, Drew University

"Zinbarg's comparative approach is quite useful, particularly in demonstrating how united religions are on questions of business ethics. This is a compelling study. "—Publishers Weekly Religion Bookline

"The musings of this experienced manager who is uncomfortable with the separation of ethics from economics should appeal to many nonexecutives."—Booklist

"This interfaith approach opens a very necessary dialogue about the role economics and spirituality are playing in the recent events that have taken over the world stage."—

"Ed Zinbarg…does a nice job or reminding us that organized religion has always offered firm…guidelines for business dealings."—The Star-Ledger, April 14, 2002

"Must Read"—Today's Books

mention- Journal of Economic Literature/ September 2006 Vol. 44 No. 3

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By kevin ryan on January 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Faith, Morals, and Money is a book for our time and is the book FOR THIS MOMENT. As we as individuals and a nation anguishes over another corporation's ethical failures, a new book offers important guidance. For centuries economists have ignored the rich resource of religious wisdom about money and its uses. Business schools have paid only the slightest attention to the ethical dimensions of trade and business practices. On the other hand, we live in a marketplace and what could be more saturated with issues of right and wrong than the manner with which we acquire and use money.
This book brings to the surface the long tradition of ethical thinking and religious laws on money matters. Written clearly and with copious examples from current business practice, the author, Edward D. Zinbarg, explicates the economic thinking of the great religions of the West and the East. Zinbarg's well-documented argument is that, while our major religions have somewhat differing rules and imperatives, there is also great overlapping and complementarity. The message is particularly important at this time of intense globalization. A fascinating and timely read.
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