Consuming Religion

Consuming Religion Cover

Consuming Religion

Christian Faith and Practice in a Consumer Culture

By Vincent J. Miller

Continuum, Paperback, 9780826417497, 256pp.

Publication Date: August 18, 2005


Contemporary theology, argues Miller, is silent on what is unquestionably one of the most important cultural issues it faces: consumerism or "consumer culture." While there is no shortage of expressions of concern about the corrosive effects of consumerism from the standpoint of economic justice or environmental ethics, there is a surprising paucity of theoretically sophisticated works on the topic, for consumerism, argues Miller, is not just about behavioral "excesses"; rather, it is a pervasive worldview that affects our construction as persons-what motivates us, how we relate to others, to culture, and to religion. Consuming Religion surveys almost a century of scholarly literature on consumerism and 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. It demonstrates the significance of this seismic cultural shift for theological method, doctrine, belief, community, and theological anthropology. Like more popular texts, the book takes a critical stand against the deleterious effects of consumerism. However, its analytical complexity provides the basis for developing more sophisticated tactics for addressing these problems.

About 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.