ISBN-10:
1626162565
ISBN-13:
9781626162563
Pub. Date:
12/01/2015
Publisher:
Georgetown University Press
The Vice of Luxury: Economic Excess in a Consumer Age

The Vice of Luxury: Economic Excess in a Consumer Age

by David Cloutier
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Overview

Luxury. The word alone conjures up visions of attractive, desirable lifestyle choices, yet luxury also faces criticism as a moral vice harmful to both the self and society. Engaging ideas from business, marketing, and economics, The Vice of Luxury takes on the challenging task of naming how much is too much in today's consumer-oriented society.

David Cloutier’s critique goes to the heart of a fundamental contradiction. Though overconsumption and materialism make us uneasy, they also seem inevitable in advanced economies. Current studies of economic ethics focus on the structural problems of poverty, of international trade, of workers' rights—but rarely, if ever, do such studies speak directly to the excesses of the wealthy, including the middle classes of advanced economies. Cloutier proposes a new approach to economic ethics that focuses attention on our everyday economic choices. He shows why luxury is a problem, explains how to identify what counts as the vice of luxury today, and develops an ethic of consumption that is grounded in Christian moral convictions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626162563
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Publication date: 12/01/2015
Series: Moral Traditions series
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David Cloutier is associate professor at Mount Saint Mary's University. He is the author of Love, Reason, and God's Story: An Introduction to Catholic Sexual Ethics and editor of the blog catholicmoraltheology.com.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Luxury?

Part One1. Luxury in History: A Brief Survey2. Neglected Vice: How Luxury Degrades Us, Our Work, and Our Communities3. Neglected Sacramentality: Why Luxury Blocks a Spirituality of Our Material Goods4. Neglecting Positionality: Why Luxury Does Not Necessarily Help the Economy

Part Two5. Luxury Defined6. Luxury and Social Context: Who Has More Than Enough?7. Luxury and Necessity: What Is Enough?8. Luxury and Sacrament: What Is Beyond Enough?

Conclusion: Resisting with Discipline, Responding with Hope

BibliographyIndex

What People are Saying About This

Julie Hanlon Rubio

Drawing on history, economics, philosophy, and theology, Cloutier advances our understanding of luxury as a vice and aptly shows just how far most of us are from virtue. He makes a nuanced case not for voluntary poverty but for a prudential, relational, and sacramental approach to material things. This book is a game-changer.

From the Publisher

"David Cloutier's insightful treatment of luxury is creative and prophetic, without the oversimplifications prevalent in much prophetic discourse today. Drawing on philosophy, economics, and theology, he traces the history of ideas about luxury in a manner both scholarly and accessible to a wide audience. A truly excellent volume that will challenge how most of us think about our own lives."—Daniel Rush Finn, Professor of Theology and Clemens Professor of Economics, St. John's University

"Drawing on history, economics, philosophy, and theology, Cloutier advances our understanding of luxury as a vice and aptly shows just how far most of us are from virtue. He makes a nuanced case not for voluntary poverty but for a prudential, relational, and sacramental approach to material things. This book is a game-changer."—Julie Hanlon Rubio, Professor of Christian Ethics, St. Louis University

Daniel Rush Finn

David Cloutier's insightful treatment of luxury is creative and prophetic, without the oversimplifications prevalent in much prophetic discourse today. Drawing on philosophy, economics, and theology, he traces the history of ideas about luxury in a manner both scholarly and accessible to a wide audience. A truly excellent volume that will challenge how most of us think about our own lives.

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