Pojednanie z duchem kapitalizmu? Pytanie o katolickie źródła etyki gospodarczej

Słowa kluczowe: business ethics, Catholic social teaching, capitalism, papal encyclicals


Traditionally Catholicism has been perceived as unfriendly to the capitalist economy. Protestantism’s image is different: it has been regarded as a religious movement which boosted the so-called spirit of capitalism. The aim of this article is to raise a question whether today’s Catholicism still deserves that characterization as a denomination biased against capitalism. This issue is of considerable importance for business ethicists who are interested in the moral condition of market economy and, quite often, in the impact of religion on economic culture. Many of them are Catholics themselves and their religion seems to be a real source of inspiration for the ethical analyses of economic life they present. This article offers a number of arguments to the effect that although Catholic social teaching originated in the pre-modern, medieval period, it has changed to a large degree due to several papal encyclicals in the 20th century. Centesimus annus by John Paul II should be mentioned here as an epochal message expressing approval of human creativity and entrepreneurship. This new perspective was also due to Catholic philosophers and theologians such as Michael Novak and other members of the neoconservative movement in the United States.