Consuming Religion

Consuming Religion

Kathryn Lofton

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9780226481937

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


The essays in this book offer a profile of religion and its relationship to consumption in the modern period. Together they demonstrate how religion manifests in efforts to mass-produce relations of value. Through essays on specific commodities, celebrities, and industries, this book shows how much of consumer life is itself a religious enterprise, religious in the sense of enshrining certain commitments stronger than almost any other acts of social participation. Whereas earlier scholars took as a given the perpetuity of denominated, sectarian religions, this books turns to those practices, businesses, and persons seemingly unhooked from denominational life, such as the universal labor of parenting or the practice of binge viewing, and observes the kinds of social concession and sectarian resistance these practices convey. Using the marketplace as the primary archive of religion, this book shows how certain forms of social life reappear in culture as ways to think through and enact principles.