Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 1–15

ἐμπάθɛια (Empatheia) and Caritas: The Role of Religion in Fair Trade Consumption

  • Caroline Josephine Doran
  • Samuel Michael Natale

DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010-0533-y

Cite this article as:
Doran, C.J. & Natale, S.M. J Bus Ethics (2011) 98: 1. doi:10.1007/s10551-010-0533-y


There is much still to learn about the nature of fair trade consumers. In light of the Pope’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate, this article sought to advance the current understanding by investigating the role of religion in fair trade consumption. In this study, fair trade consumers and non-consumers across many religions as well as the non-religious described their consumption of fair trade products as well as the use of their religious beliefs in their purchase behavior. It appears that the non-religious are slightly more inclined toward buying fair trade products. Of the religious observers studied, Buddhists have a greater propensity to buy fair trade. The relationship between religion and fair trade consumption is complex in that religious affiliation – group membership – alone is not enough to encourage members to buy fair trade; rather, it is the use of religious beliefs as a criterion in consumption behavior that linked religion to fair trade consumption.


ethical consumption fair trade religion religious beliefs papal encyclicals consumerism values 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Josephine Doran
    • 1
  • Samuel Michael Natale
    • 2
  1. 1.Garden CityU.S.A.
  2. 2.Adelphi UniversityGarden CityU.S.A.

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