Religion in Consumer Society: Brands, Consumers and Markets (BOK)
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This book, together with a complementary volume Religion in the Neoliberal Age, focus on religion, neoliberalism and consumer society; offering an overview of an emerging field of research in the study of contemporary religion. Claiming that we are entering a new phase of state-religion relations, the editors examine how this is historically anchored in modernity but affected by neoliberalization and globalization of society and social life. Seemingly distant developments, such as marketization and commoditization of religion as well as legalization and securitization of social conflicts, are transforming historical expressions of 'religion' and 'religiosity' yet these changes are seldom if ever understood as forming a coherent, structured and systemic ensemble. Religion in Consumer Society develops a thorough analysis of religion as both shaped by consumer culture and as shaping consumer culture. Following an introduction critically analysing studies on consumer culture and links it to the existing scholarship in the sociology of religion, this book explores the following topics: 1. How have consumerism and electronic media shaped globalized culture, and how this is affecting religion 2. the dynamics and characteristics of often overlooked middle class religion, and how these relate to globalization with respect to differences between 'developed' and 'emerging' countries, 3. emerging trends, and how we understand phenomena as different as megachurches and holistic spiritualistic journeys, and how the pressures of consumer culture act on religious traditions, indigenous and exogenous, 4. the politics of religious phenomena in the Age of Neoliberalism, and -5. the hybrid areas emerging from these reconfigurations of religion and the market. Outlining changes in both the political-institutional and cultural spheres, the contributors offer an international overview of developments in different countries and state of the art representation of religion in the new global political economy.