Theological perspectives on accounting: worldviews don’t change overnight

McPhail, Ken and Cordery, Carolyn J. (2019). Theological perspectives on accounting: worldviews don’t change overnight. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal ,


This paper reflects on the 2004 AAAJ Special Issue: ‘Accounting and theology, an introduction: Initiating a dialogue between immediacy and eternity’, the relative immediate impact of the call for papers and the relevance of the theme to address issues in accounting today and in the future. The paper is a reflection and is framed around three different modes of engagement with new perspectives as identified by Orlikowski (2015). These are religion as phenomenon, as perspective and as a worldview. We draw on Burrell and Morgan’s (1979) framework in order to explore the ontological and epistemological blinkers that have limited our attempts to explore accounting from a theological perspective. The paper argues that historical and current structures can limit the manner in which accounting research uses theological perspectives. Indeed, the concerns of the initial special issue remain – that the contemporary economic and knowledge system is in crisis and alternative ways of questioning are required to understand and respond to this system. As a reflection, this paper is subject to limitations of author bias relating to our beliefs, ethnicities and culture. We have sought to reduce these by drawing on a wide range of sources, critical analysis, and the input of feedback from other scholars. Nevertheless, the narrative of impact remains a continuing story. In drawing on both an original special issue guest editor and a scholar for whom the 2004 special issue has become a touchstone and springboard, this paper provides multiple viewpoints on the issue of accounting and theology.

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Divisions: Aston Business School > Accounting
Aston Business School
Additional Information: Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited
Uncontrolled Keywords: Theology; religion; spirituality
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Related URLs: https://www.eme ... -3415/full/html (Publisher URL)
Accepted Date: 2018-10-26
Published Online Date: 2019-08-02
Authors: McPhail, Ken
Cordery, Carolyn J. ( 0000-0001-9511-7671)



Version: Accepted Version

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