Forum Professionals at work: a study in Ordinary Theology
Work, in the form of employment, is, in modern industrial and post-industrial society, the way in which individuals and families are embedded in the social and economic structures. Work defines who we are and gives the right to participate in the consumer society. Today the nature and ethics of work are of considerable concern in the rapidly changing situation posed by Brexit, the pandemic and the aftermath of globalisation; an interest not seen since the onslaught of deindustrialisation in the eighties. This can be expressed in a number of ways: as a theological and ethical issue; ‘speaking to power’ by seeking to shape socio-political policy; through Industrial Mission, chaplaincy and pastoral initiatives; working with the poor and vulnerable and those at risk. All this, however valuable and proper, moves outward from the structures and networks of faith but the Church is most present in the world of work through its scattered members, often invisible, with no obvious ecclesial authority other than their skills and responsibilities.