Spirituality, Inc.

Religion in the American Workplace

228 pages

December, 2009

ISBN: 9780814752463



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Lake Lambert III is professor of religion and Board of Regents Chair in Ethics at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. His research focuses on the intersections between religion, ethics and economic life. At Wartburg, he also serves as Assistant Dean for Academic Planning and Project Director for the Callings Initiative.

All books by Lake Lambert III

For many Americans spirituality and business seem to be polar opposites: one is concerned with lofty questions of ultimate significance, the other with mundane matters of the daily grind. Yet over the last two decades the two have become increasingly linked, and as the barriers between them are broken down, many see this as a revolutionary shift in American business culture.

Lake Lambert III provides a comprehensive examination of the workplace spirituality movement, and explores how it is both shaping and being shaped by American business culture. Situating the phenomenon in an historical context, Lambert surveys the role of spirituality in business from medieval guilds to industrial "company towns" right up to current trends in the ever-changing contemporary business environment. Using case studies from specific businesses, such as Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby, he analyzes the enhanced benefits and support that workplace spirituality offers to employees, while exposing the conflicts it engenders, including diversity, religious freedom, and discrimination issues.

The American workplace today is experiencing dramatic upheaval and change. Spirituality, Inc. offers important insights into the role of religion in this transformation. With employees seeking new ways to strike a proper life-work balance and find meaning in their everyday lives, spirituality in the workplace is a trend that will become increasingly important in the American business landscape. Spirituality, Inc. provides a critical overview of this phenomenon that does not ignore the movement's many positive contributions to the workplace, yet does not overlook the potential for abuse.


  • "Lambert does a very good job of summarizing the historical factors which have brought us to this present situation, and also of describing the various ways that spirituality is currently expressed in the workplace."

    —Len MacRae, Studies in Religion

  • "Lake Lambert III...offers a thoughtful, engagingly written, and well informed introduction to the recent upsurge in religious expression on the job...will make for rewarding reading for scholars of the post-World War II American business history."

    —Bethany Moreton, Enterprise and Society

  • "Lambert is evenhanded in his analysis...[he] frames the topic so broadly and contextualizes it so historically and intellectually that I rethought the contours of the entire field."

    The Journal of American History

  • “How we got from Calvinism and the Bible-based idea of vocation to the widespread and vaguely spiritual workplace of today is clearly told by Lambert in Spirituality, Inc.

    Wall Street Journal

  • “In this deeply researched book, Lambert argues that millennials enjoy pondering spirituality and religion, even aloud and in public.”

    Harvard Business Review

  • “Faith at work is emerging as an exciting and challenging new movement in corporate America. While there are hundreds of popular books written on the subject, Lambert’s Spirituality, Inc. is an excellent contribution to the small but growing book shelf of scholarly reflections on the movement.”

    —David W. Miller, author of God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement

  • “Provides an exceptional treatment of a much neglected dimension of religious life in America. Drawing on theology, management studies, history, cultural studies and sociology, Lambert provides a powerful description of contemporary efforts to weave religious significance from the strands of our workaday lives. Anyone who is interested in popular religion in America, the meaning of work, and the challenge of meaning in the contemporary context will surely applaud the arrival of this book.”

    —Graham Reside, executive director, Cal Turner Program in Moral Leadership for the Professions