Original Research - Special Collection: Scholarly Voices

The category of the culture of work as vocation: The proposal of the Evangelical Church in Germany for the current upheavals in the world of work

Piotr Kopiec
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 2 | a6844 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v%25vi%25i.6844 | © 2021 Piotr Kopiec | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 May 2021 | Published: 14 September 2021

About the author(s)

Piotr Kopiec, Department of Ecumenical Institute, Faculty of Theology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland; Department of New Testament Studies and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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The current upheavals in the world of work become one of the central themes of the reflections in social sciences. Many authors raise questions about the results of shrinking employment, growing digitalisation, demands of new skills meeting the challenges of the oncoming economic order, to mention just a few from a broad range of processes and phenomena. It is also an essential motive of the Christian Churches’ social teaching, for instance, for the Evangelical Church in Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland [EKD]). The church offers a comprehensive and relevant vision of human work, linking the social and political teaching of the Protestant Reformation and contemporary theological, sociological and sociopolitical conceptions. The article aims to outline the evangelical interpretation of the transformations in human work and asks how inspirations of Reformation theology are applied to today’s critical issues concerning these transformations. It also discusses the category of the culture of work as vocation and considers its potential for a broader discussion on the topic. The primary sources of the reflection are the relevant documents of the EKD (Denkschrifts), recently published.

Contribution: The theological interpretation and proposals of the Evangelical Church in Germany contribute to the global discussion on the transformations in the sphere of work, particularly when examining the sociological and political potential of the category of the culture of work as vocation. The research addresses the focus and scope of the journal for the promotion of multidisciplinary aspects of studies in the general theological area.


human work; Evangelical Church in Germany; digitalisation; culture of work; vocation; theology; sociology


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