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The Economy of Desire

Christianity and Capitalism in a Postmodern World (Church and Postmodern Culture)

Daniel M. Bell, James Smith (Editor)


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In this addition to the award-winning Church and Postmodern Culture series, respected theologian Daniel Bell compares and contrasts capitalism and Christianity, showing how Christianity provides resources for faithfully navigating the postmodern global economy.

Bell approaches capitalism and Christianity as alternative visions of humanity, God, and the good life. Considering faith and economics in terms of how desire is shaped, he casts the conflict as one between different disciplines of desire. He engages the work of two important postmodern philosophers, Deleuze and Foucault, to illuminate the nature of the postmodern world that the church currently inhabits. Bell then considers how the global economy deforms desire in a manner that distorts human relations with God and one another. In contrast, he presents Christianity and the tradition of the works of mercy as a way beyond capitalism and socialism, beyond philanthropy and welfare. Christianity heals desire, renewing human relations and enabling communion with God.

Baker Academic, 9780801035739, 224pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2012

About the Author

Daniel M. Bell Jr. (PhD, Duke University) is professor of theological ethics at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. He is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and the author of "Just War as Christian Discipleship "and "Liberation Theology after the End of History."