The Christian Notion of Αγάπη (agápē): Towards a More Complete View of Business Ethics

  • Domènec Melé


Business Ethics, significantly developed over the last three decades, generally does not consider the notion of ἀγάπη (agápē) which is central in Christian ethics. This article analyses the meaning of agápē in the Christian Bible and argues that this Greek word can be translated as “love”, in the sense of a self-giving love, and including the sacrificing of one’s own interests for the good of others. Agápē is a virtue which inspires all other virtues in the Christian tradition. Philosophically speaking, agápē means “love of benevolence”, a notion which is not too far from the Confucian notion of ren, generally translated as “benevolence” or “loving others”. The article moves on to discuss how agápē can be introduced in business ethics and argues that a business ethics theory which includes the consideration of “love of benevolence” is more complete than others which ignore it.


Business Ethic Virtue Ethic Organizational Ethic Managerial Ethic Confucian Ethic 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IESE Business SchoolUniversity of NavarraPamplonaSpain

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