Theology, Responsibility, and Business Legitimacy

Camilla Sløk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


We seem to know what business is, but what does “theology in business” mean? In this paper, I want to show how our contemporary understanding of “business legitimacy” can be translated to the theological concept of “love of your neighbor” which means responsibility toward other human beings. Only if you act responsibly and accountable in your relationships, including economic relationships, are you legitimate in your acts. Responsibility and accountability is a web of relationships. This paper focuses on how responsibility has been interpreted in Protestantism, particularly with regard to the reformed theologian’s, Martin Luther, understanding of responsibility in economy. With the rising capitalism of the Renaissance, new politics was asked for, and intellectual discussions on fairness and justice were part of that. Further, I want to show how this theological understanding of business legitimacy as responsibility is both (1) an invisible underpinning of contemporary business legitimacy and (2) a concept of justice which seems to have disappeared from contemporary, neoliberal debates around economy and business legitimacy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Business Legitimacy : Responsibility, Ethics and Society
EditorsJacob Dahl Rendtorff
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9783030146214
ISBN (Electronic)9783319688459, 9783030146221
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Published online: 28 November 2019.


  • Theology
  • Responsibility
  • Economy

Cite this