Adam Arvidsson

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Christianity and Consumer Culture

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Consumer Culture; Brands; Protestantism; Prosperity Gospel.

This paper experiments with the hypothesis of Christian origins of contemporary consumer culture. While many observers have pointed at the religious nature of consumer culture, I suggest that contemporary consumer culture might have a distinctly Christian genealogy. This genealogy starts with the promise of intimate and personal self-transformation inherent in the Christian message, and passes through the protestant orientation towards inner-worldly transformation on the part of early pioneers of the Nineteenth century U.S. consumer culture. The whole-hearted embrace of consumerist desires on the part of contemporary expressions of charismatic Christianity, like Prosperity Gospel, are discussed as a case in point. The paper concludes that a deeper investigation of the Christian genealogy of contemporary consumer culture might be an interesting research project.

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