Western Wisdom Traditions and Workplace Spirituality

  • Douglas J. CremerEmail author
  • Phyllis A. Cremer
Living reference work entry


There exists great depth and insight in the resources provided by the wisdom traditions in the Judeo-Christian West, from writings in the books of Psalms and Job in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Greek philosophical work of Plato and Aristotle, and early Christian insights from the Greek monastic traditions, especially Pseudo-Dionysius and Gregory of Nyssa. Very often this spirituality plays with the dichotomy of light and dark, hope and despair, enlightenment and ignorance, leaning toward the former and away from the latter. But also very often within modern workplaces, light is distant and darkness seems all around, whether due to toxic office politics or poor, if not malignant, leadership. How to endure, even to use the experience of darkness to do more than survive but to find ways to thrive in these contexts, is also explored within these traditions, often in surprising and insightful ways.


  1. Aristotle (2009) The Nicomachean ethics (trans: Ross D). Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  2. Ewest T (ed) (2018) Faith & work: Christian perspectives, research and insights into the movement. IAP-Information Age Publishing, CharlotteGoogle Scholar
  3. Giacalone RA, Jurkiewicz CL (eds) (2010) Handbook of workplace spirituality and organizational performance, 3rd edn. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Gregory of Nyssa (1961) From glory to glory: texts from Gregory of Nyssa’s mystical writings (trans: Daniélou J; ed: Herbert Musurillo). Charles Scribner’s Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Hicks D (2003) Religion and the workplace: pluralism, spirituality, leadership. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kellerman B (2004) Bad leadership: what it is, how it happens, why it matters. Harvard Business School, BostonGoogle Scholar
  7. Lambert L (2009) Spirituality, Inc.: religion and the American workplace. New York University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Marques J, Dhiman S, King R (eds) (2009) The workplace and spirituality: new perspectives on research and practice. Skylight Paths, WoodstockGoogle Scholar
  9. Neal J (ed) (2013) Handbook of faith and spirituality in the workplace: emerging research and practice. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Plato (1991) The Republic. (trans: Jowett B). Vintage Classics, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Price T (2006) Understanding ethical failures in leadership. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  12. Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (1980) The divine names and mystical theology (trans: Jones JD). Marquette University Press, MilwaukeeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Woodbury UniversityBurbankUSA
  2. 2.Saint Elizabeth SchoolAltadenaUSA

Personalised recommendations