Producing Sacredness and Defending Secularity: Faith in the Workplace of Taiwanese Scientists
Di, Di; Ecklund, Elaine Howard
Although a recent body of scholarship focuses on how business professionals infuse spiritual practices in their workplaces, comparatively little attention has been paid to faith in the scientific workplace, especially in an Eastern, non-Christian context. Between 2014 and 2015, we conducted a survey of 892 scientists in Taiwan and completed interviews with 52 of our survey respondents. In this paper, we examine how scientists navigate religion in the scientific workplace. Survey results demonstrate that while scientists perceive religion and scientific research as generally separate in the abstract, in practice, they regard the boundary between religion and their workplace as somewhat permeable. Interviews further show how different groups of Taiwanese scientists create sacredness and defend secularity in scientific work. Results have implications for future research on how scientists (and potentially those in other types of professions) in non-Western and non-Christian countries navigate faith at work.
Religion; science; workplace; Taiwan; faith at work