Consuming Religion


Product Details

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date
6.6 X 9.5 X 0.7 inches | 0.95 pounds

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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.


[A] thorough investigation of the way religious beliefs and practices in contemporary society are dependent upon the socioeconomic factors that structure our daily lives. Horizons
He successfully lays down a general framework that will be useful in stimulating and guiding the thought of future scholars and religious observers. The first half of Consuming Religion seems especially suited for teaching on both the graduate and advanced undergraduate levels, since it provides a succinct but sensitive and wide-ranging discussion of various critical theories regarding consumer culture and the fate of religion in the midst of that culture. He is able to move from a compressed discussion of Marx s perception of culture to the work of theorists such as Henri Lefebvre, Guy Debord, and Jean Baudrillard, all in way testifying not only to his mastery of much important work in cultural theory, but also to a considerable synthesizing and didactic skill as a writer. Journal of the NABPR
"Miller analyzes how consumer culture commodifies everything, including religious practice, making it impossible to confront it head on. Drawing on the work of Michael Foucault and many others, Miller helps the reader understand the power of 'cultural dynamisms that defuse the subversive potential religious and cultural traditions.' His discussions on learning the origins of where a consumer product comes from and on embedding religious practices into the traditions from which they are taken are particularly helpful. This book is not for the faint of heart. Its detailed cultural analysis can be heavy going in places, but one emerges with a much greater understanding of what is going on in our culture and some places where we might begin to make a difference. Miller succeeds in moving the discussion of consumer culture to a new and hopefully more productive level of engagement." -Calvin Theological Journal, April 2006" "
"Well researched, clear thesis, logical argument, ordered presentation, good analysis, internally consistent and conclusions with integrity and a touch of reality. If I sound impressed it's because I am." Insights
"Vincent Miller's book takes our understandingto a new level...This is not only an extremely critical (yet not cynical)analysis, but it is a wonderful read. It will be of interest to scholars in religious studies, sociology, cultural studies, as well as to theologians." -"Critical Sociology"--,
"Vincent Miller's book takes our understanding to a new level...This is not only an extremely critical (yet not cynical) analysis, but it is a wonderful read. It will be of interest to scholars in religious studies, sociology, cultural studies, as well as to theologians." -"Critical Sociology"--Sanford Lakoff
Even though I am not a person of faith, I read Miller s book with a sense of relief. He presents a clear and direct critique of what is wrong with consumer culture, from a humane and consistent point of view .Anyone interested in how theology can be used to address problems of sustainability, inequality, or the extremes of wealth and over-consumption in our society should read this book." Richard Wilk, professor, Gender Studies and Anthropology, Indiana University--Sanford Lakoff

"In his most remarkable book, Consuming Religion, The North-American theologian Vincent Miller addresses the effects of the commodification of society and the habits of consumer culture on religion in contemporary society. Very convincingly Miller argues that for Christians and their churches, consumer culture is not something out there, but qualifies from the very start their individual and communal identities. As far as Europe is concerned, it would seem that, because of the many other challenges European theology faces today (such as the resurgence of religion in society and new religious movements, the multicultural society and religious pluralism, etc.), a theological engagement of consumer culture hardly appears on its agenda. However, the provocation of consumer culture should not be lost sight of. It is indeed worthwhile to inquire whether Miller's thoughts offer an adequate analysis of the situation of religion and Christianity in Europe, and, consequently, whether the remedy he proposes, will be effective in bringing Christian faith into practice in our European societies, cultures and Christian faith are addressed from a variety of perspectives, in dialogue with Miller's groundbreaking analysis. Apart from Miller, introducing his positions to a European audience, seven European theologians and philosophers take part in this dialogue: Edmund Arens (Luzern), Lieven Boeve (Leuven), Eamonn Conway (Limerick), Paul Cortois (Leuven), Yves De Maeseneer (leuven), Walter Lesch (Louvain-la-Neuve), and Peter Scott (Manchester)."--Sanford Lakoff
"Consuming Religion offers a serious look at our culture and provides conceptual resources for evaluating what adds to and what weakens the practice of religion." Rich Landers, Anglican Theological Review--Sanford Lakoff