Work & work ethic : Integrating faith and work as a strategy for poverty alleviation in Ethiopia
This research work addresses the lack of integration between faith and work that affects work ethics and aggravates poverty in Ethiopia. The proposed solution is a holistic view of work whereby Christians are called to integrate their faith into all areas of life so that work is valued and serves as a means to address poverty.
There is a problem of disintegration especially among Ethiopian Christians who do not reflect their faith values in the work world. The traditional holistic culture tends not to be integrated with the modern lifestyle, and dualistic reasoning dominates the wider experience so that there are no significant differences between Christians and non-Christians.
A review of relevant literature is included, which presents work as God’s original intention for humanity. Building on the Protestant Reformation, work is seen as a calling and a divine assignment for humans created in the image of a working God. Work can result in wealth creation and a strategy for poverty alleviation by using God-given talents and gifts. The integration of faith and work also shapes one’s ethics to serve God and neighbor in a responsible way. The project also explores theological foundations, drawing on literature about the theology of work as well as the Bible. Through integration of work without classifying it into sacred and secular, people find their source of provision and fulfillment.
The research presents the Ethiopian context and the degree of poverty, the extent of disintegration, and corruption using statistical data. Through questionnaires, observations, and interviews the project analyzes the perception of work among a sample group of Ethiopians and suggests strategies to address poverty in Ethiopia.
Bakke Graduate University, 2011