Asbury Business Prof Publishes Study of Virtue
September 15, 2016
WILMORE, Ky. — After years of teaching business ethics, Asbury University Business Professor Kevin Brown has learned that textbooks often falter on the most foundational question — “Why should I be good?” Dr. Brown’s solution? He wrote his own book, outlining a Christian understanding of classical virtue ethics.
For Brown’s students in Asbury’s Howard Dayton School of Business, a consideration of virtue could not be more relevant. In an industry continually rocked by scandal and greed, Asbury students are prepared to be different — not only the best in the world, but the best for the world.
“Why should we be moral and good in business?” Brown asked. “One author might suggest we should behave morally because of reciprocity, or because it improves company outcomes. But as Christians, we have a much larger, richer narrative to talk about what animates moral activity in the business place.”
Newly released by Hendrickson Publishers, “Designed for Good: Recovering the Idea, Language and Practice of Virtue” reconsiders ethics from a Christian worldview, drawing from classical sources like Plato and Aristotle, as well as contemporary thinkers like Stanley Hauerwas and Alasdair MacIntyre. Brown’s conclusion, like his question, grounds philosophy in the Christian tradition.
“To sum up the book, we should be good because we were designed for that,” Brown said. “Goodness is our human purpose, because we were made by a deliberate designer who purposed us for something very specific.”
Writing “Designed for Good” didn’t just fill a gap in business ethics literature. It also enhanced one of Brown’s goals in the classroom at Asbury — helping students better understand their faith.
“I want them to be able to articulate what they believe and why they believe it before they leave Asbury,” Brown said. “ My goal is to help them understand moral complexities and the contours of an argument, and, ultimately, to represent their Christianity in a mature expression.”
To learn more about Asbury’s Howard Dayton School of Business, visit: asbury.edu/business