Introduction-- L.Thomas PART I: SUSTAINING LIFE: THEORIES AND REPRESENTATIONS OF RELIGION AND CONSUMERISM Consumerism as Theodicy: Secular and Religious Meaning Functions in Modern Society-- T.Jackson & M.Pepper Not Exactly a Selling Point: Religion and Reality TV-- N.Buxton Living in a Material World: Religious Commodification and Resistance-- A.Mukadam& S. Mawani Sustaining Spiritualities in Consumer Cultures-- L.Thomas PART II: EVERYDAY PRACTICES OF RELIGION AND CONSUMPTION AND THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL DIMENSIONS: PARADISE LOST? Faith in Ethical Consumption-- P.Cloke, C.Barnett, N.Clarke & A.Malpass Islam in the Globalised World: Consumerism and Environmental Ethics in Iran-- H.Godazgar Consumerism in Slovak Catholic Homes-- Z.Burikova 'What's Not Spent is Lost': Consumption Practices of Pakistani Muslims in Britain-- K.Harris From the Parliament to the Market: Political Consumerism and the Fight for Sabbath-- G.Ben-Porat & O.Shamir.
This collection analyses relationships between religious and consumption practices and cultures, and their diverse responses to ecological crisis, ranging from indifference to engagement.To varying degrees, classic religions are associated with critique of materialistic values. Onto this opposition of the market and the temple other binaries have been grafted, so that 'North' and the 'West' are portrayed as secular and materialistic, 'South' and 'East' either as 'tigers' pursuing western-style affluence and economic growth or locked into retrospective fundamentalisms. These characterisations are called into question in a context of diversity and global movements of peoples and goods. In this collection this complexity is addressed in an analysis of the interconnections between religious and consumption practices and cultures, and the ways in which both are responding to the ecological threat posed by continuous economic growth. International in scope, the book combines empirical and theoretical work in its attempt to interrogate the traditional opposition of spiritual and materialistic values, and to explore the interplay of religious and consuming passions in contemporary cultures. This analysis leads to a consideration of the ways in which religions and secular spiritualities can contribute to a new ecological consciousness, and to the adoption of less destructive and rapacious ways of life.
LYN THOMAS Deputy Director, Institute for the Study of European Transformations, London Metropolitan University, UK, where she previously taught French. She is the author of Annie Ernaux: An Introduction to the Writer and her Audience; Fans, Feminisms and 'Quality' Media and Annie Ernaux, a la premiere personne. She recently edited The Theory and Politics of Consuming Differently with Kate Soper and Martin Ryle. She is a member of the Feminist Review Editorial Collective.