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Corporation as Sect

Corporation as Sect

(p.197) 9 Corporation as Sect
Consuming Religion
Kathryn Lofton
University of Chicago Press

This chapter considers how work became so central to contemporary life and how the corporate workplace became a particular site of political freedom and activity. The essay begins by looking at several instances of individual acts of conscience by working people: Bowe Bergdahl, Kim Davis, and Edward Snowden, and considers how those individuals experienced punishment for their acts of workplace conscience whereas a corporation, Hobby Lobby, was awarded its religious freedom for a corporate act of conscience. Through a history of the corporation in the United States, this chapter tracks how corporations have become worthy of expanded legal protections and have become increasingly affirmed as locations for self-formation and social incorporation. The chapter points to the way corporations and religions in the US have different legal expectations yet similar conceptual terms for engagement.

Keywords:   Sabbatarianism, Bowe Bergdahl, Kim Davis, Edward Snowden, Hobby Lobby, Goldman Sachs, corporation, Internal Revenue Service, Establishment Clause, religious freedom

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