Consumerism as a moral attitude: Defining consumerism through the works of Pope Francis, Cornel West, and William T. Cavanaugh

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Abstract

In this theoretical and explorative essay, from an analysis of Pope Francis’, Cornel West's, and William T. Cavanaugh's works, it is argued that it is possible to construe a specific understanding of the concept of consumerism within the political theological discourse. From the analysis, consumerism is imagined as a fundamental attitude of remaining morally indifferent towards suffering. Accordingly, the proposed definition for consumerism is understood as the act of trivializing the good and remaining indifferent towards suffering. Furthermore, the article highlights how this definition of consumerism challenges the idea of consumerism as an “ersatz” religion, which is an understanding of consumerism that is often used within a Christian theological context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-24
Number of pages24
JournalStudia Theologica
Volume74
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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