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Where We Might Least Expect to Find It: Organizing Paradoxes of Christian Theology in a Society of Organizations

Interdisciplinary Dialogues on Organizational Paradox: Learning from Belief and Science, Part A

ISBN: 978-1-80117-184-7, eISBN: 978-1-80117-183-0

Publication date: 8 July 2021

Abstract

A surface view of monotheistic or “Western” religions might lead some to infer a singularity to truth that is inconsistent with paradoxical thinking. The author explores a key Biblical narrative common to both Judaism and Christianity – the story of origins that unfolds in the Garden of Eden. The author posits that the foundations of those belief systems, and particularly those of Christian theology, are paradoxical as evidenced in their historic texts (i.e., the Old and New Testaments of the Bible). A foundational paradox of an “ought versus is” (ideal vs. actual) tension that underlies or intertwines in knot-like fashion with other paradoxes is identified in ways that account for a current world view marked by temporality (in tension with eternality) and becoming (in tension with being). These tensions are made salient as humans continually work toward ideals that seem always just out of reach. Paradox conceptualization is also expanded to propose the notion of mutual embeddedness rather than mutual exclusivity of opposites. Implications for organizational paradoxes are explicated, along with directions for future research based on novel insights provided by the juxtaposition of religion and paradox.

Keywords

Citation

Sheep, M.L. (2021), "Where We Might Least Expect to Find It: Organizing Paradoxes of Christian Theology in a Society of Organizations", Bednarek, R., e Cunha, M.P., Schad, J. and Smith, W.K. (Ed.) Interdisciplinary Dialogues on Organizational Paradox: Learning from Belief and Science, Part A (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 73a), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 75-93. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X2021000073a006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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