Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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(1,113 words)

1. Term

In a broad sense, work is “any activity by man, whether manual or intellectual, whatever its nature or circumstance” (John Paul II, Laborem exercens [1981], introductory blessing). More narrowly, “work” refers to activity undertaken as a means to some other end and so is distinct from hobbies, which are done for their own sake. The English term “labor” perhaps derives from Lat. labo, “stumble under a burden.”

Western thinkers have proposed a variety of definitions of work. P…

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Schuurman, Douglas J., “Work”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 16 May 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_W.24>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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