Leadership as a Christian Practice

Bård Eirik Hallesby Norheim

(Publisert i  Scandinavian Journal of Leadership and Theology, Vol 10, 2023) 

Leadership is by its very essence, directed towards the future. It may be understood as a process of influencing others to commit and dedicate themselves to future visions and goals (Yukl, 2010, p. 26; Kotter, 1996, p. 9). Since the 1980s there has been emerging interest in practices, emphasizing practices as socially situated acts with sets of shared values, and internal and external goods. This article discusses to which extent it may be meaningful to interpret leadership as a socially embedded practice with a particular future goal, shaped by shared values. Drawing on the Neo-Aristotelian appeal to virtue ethics, promoted by Alasdair MacIntyre and others, several theologians have argued for the rediscovery of what they call ‘Christian practices.’ The article evaluates leadership as a possible ‘Christian’ practice drawing on the distinction between first tablet Christian practices and second tablet Christian practices, emphasizing the diaconal telos of the latter category.

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