Consuming Religion: Christian Faith and Practice in a Consumer Culture

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New Book is Brand New in Excellent Condition! ! Hardcover with Dust Jacket. tiny shelf or wear edage wear if any. Exactly As Shown in Picture. Copyright 2004 Published by The ... Continuum Publishing Group Inc. Total pages 263. 'Consuming Religion: Christian Faith and Practice in a Consumer Culture (Hardcover)' ISBN # 0826415318. Fast Shipping, Reliable Service, Customer Satisfaction and Money Back Guraranteed! ! Read more Show Less

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Overview

The most profound problem with consumerism, argues Vincent Miller, is not the consumption of consumer goods, but the ways in which it trains us to treat everything, including religion, as an object of consumption. Consuming Religion surveys almost a century of scholarly literature on consumerism, from the rise of a culture of commodities to the flowering of the commodification of culture, and charts the ways in which religious belief and practice have been transformed by the dominant consumer culture of the West. Befitting a work of theology that takes culture seriously, the range of reference is enormous, from hip-hop and The Lion King to Gallic social theorists such as Henri Lefebvre, Guy Dubord, Pierre Bourdieu, and Michel de Certeau, not to mention a variety of modern contemporary theological movements. Along the way are riffs on the cult of religious celebrity, whether Buddhist or Catholic, male or female.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Two new books address our consumer culture and its relation to religious beliefs, with Beaudoin (theology, Boston Coll., Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of Generation X) focusing on the practical and Miller (theology, Georgetown Univ.) taking a more intellectual stance. As Beaudoin points out, nobody knows who makes the cola, fish sticks, jeans, or sneakers found in the average American home. In a telling passage, he recounts his efforts to determine where some of his favorite clothes were made, by whom, and under what conditions. The fruitless results highlight the distance between the corporation and the employees who do its work, a distance that encourages appalling exploitation of workers, in stark contrast to the "economic spirituality" of Jesus Christ. To counter such exploitation, Beaudoin suggests a strategy that includes dignity, solidarity, and community, urging readers to take responsibility for their lives and the lives of others through consumer choices and activism. His reflections on these issues within the Christian tradition and his suggestions for developing one's own economic spirituality are not new, but the work may prove useful to lay readers who want to connect their religion with their purchasing decisions. By contrast, Miller is not so much concerned with social justice as he is the deleterious effect of commerce on the essence of religion itself. Throughout this analytical work, Miller cites numerous examples of the transformation of world religions into commodities to be exploited, such as the sale of Tibetan prayer flags for decorative purposes to homeowners ignorant of the meaning of the texts and symbols thereon, and the use of Christian religious imagery and music by popular recording artists purely for effect. Drawing on the scholarly literature of cultural commodification, Miller examines the cause of this phenomenon and what its significance might be for believers, church leaders, and theologians. In doing so, he draws on a diverse range of thinkers and theorists, from Michel Foucault, John Paul II, and Karl Marx to a variety of pop culture figures. Whereas Beaudoin's book is recommended for larger public libraries, Miller's is more appropriate and recommended for academic libraries with collections in the sociology of religion.-Christopher Brennan, SUNY at Brockport Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826415318
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Vincent J. Miller is Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture at the University of Dayton, USA. His work has appeared in Horizons, U.S. Catholic Historian, and Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium. In 1996 he received the Outstanding Graduate Student Essay Award of the College Theology Society.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 How to Think about Consumer Culture 15
2 The Commodification of Culture 32
3 Consumer Religion 73
4 Desire and the Kingdom of God 107
5 The Politics of Consumption 146
6 Popular Religion in Consumer Culture 164
7 Stewarding Religious Traditions in Consumer Culture 179
Conclusion 225
Notes 229
Index 251
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