Adam Arvidsson

Christianity and Consumer Culture



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.


  • Consumer Culture
  • Brands
  • Protestantism
  • Prosperity Gospel


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