I’m pleased to announce the publication of a handbook chapter that I’ve coauthored with Jon P. Radwan of Seton Hall University:
“Meaningful Work and Human Flourishing: Communication Lessons from the Judeo-Christian Tradition.” Pages 1–26 in Palgrave Handbook for Workplace Wellbeing, edited by Satinder K. Dhiman. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020. Published online: 10 January 2020. doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02470-3_18-1.
Jon and I were introduced about a year-and-a-half ago by a colleague, and he presented some of his work on Augustine that appears in our chapter when he visited LCC last year. This is my first coauthored work, and I found it to be an enjoyable process. It was quite stimulating to work across disciplines (Jon’s field is Communication), with a more experienced colleague, who is a good writer and a diligent and thoughtful collaborator. It was also quite satisfying to produce a work that may actually be useful to non-specialists in either Biblical Studies or Communication—in contrast to much of my academic work to date (see my research statement here). Personally, I persist in writing the other kinds of articles, in order to earn the right to work on projects like this one.
The chapter is part of a major reference work, which is quite expensive. If you are interested in seeing just our article, email me or comment here. The abstract is as follows:
Judeo-Christian origin narratives connect work with communication to begin all creation and to begin humanity. God speaks the universe into existence and breathes His image to life, giving dominion to name and replenish and fill the earth. In this world-view, communication drives relationships; it is divine creative power at work advancing both personal and sociocultural history. From this ancient idea a broad wisdom tradition has grown for millennia that continues to offer a profound resource for understanding workplace well-being. This chapter details select Hebrew, Christian, Rabbinic, Augustinian, Protestant, and modern Catholic texts to show how work is relational and that dignifying work can generate meaning and peace. Workers join a divine dynamic of giving and receiving, flourishing as we commune with God and neighbor. Lessons drawn from key authors across the tradition outline the Judeo-Christian work ethic and describe communicative work that is both instrumentally effective and morally good. A conclusion on the ontology of “gift” rounds out the chronology and summarizes spiritual implications for workplace well-being.