Vincent J. Miller: Consuming Religion. Christian Faith and Practice in a Consumer Culture.

Don’t write about popular culture. That is the number one rule on writing books with longetvitity. I actually thought this book was more recent and only discovered that it was published in 2003 when Miller started discussing… Moby. And even though not even ten years has passed, that makes this book feel slightly old, not only since Moby dropped of the radar since, but more bacause a phenomomenon like Moby probably could not happen today (Those of you that does not remember, Moby rose to fame on the back of an album consisting of old gospel samples, but the thing was that every song on that album was used in commercials which gave Moby treamendous impact.)

That said, most of what Miller does, of course is still perfectly relevant. In particular I liked the solidly marxist analysis of the commodification of culture (though the part focusing on american postmodernism – again – felt a bit dated. Can this really be true, have academia moved on from types like Jameson and Baudrillard (ok not an American, but you know what I mean), in such little time, or is it just me that read the wrong books – is there a huge discussion on these guys somewhere that I do not know about?)

The main thesis of the book, however, is extremely to the point and important: That religion has a very diffucult task if it is to stay outside the capitalist system and resist being turned into yet another commodity. And though the part of Millers book that deals with potential resoursces for resistence withing Christianity offer little that is radically original, it nonetheless describes the subversive potential of practices like the eucharist well.

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