Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire  -     By: William T. Cavanaugh
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Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2008 / Paperback

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Should Christians be for or against the free market? For or against globalization? How are we to live in a world of scarcity? William Cavanaugh uses Christian resources to incisively address basic economic matters---the free market, consumer culture, globalization, and scarcity---arguing that we should not just accept these as givens but should instead change the terms of the debate.

Among other things, Cavanaugh discusses how God, in the Eucharist, forms us to consume and be consumed rightly. Examining pathologies of desire in contemporary "free market" economies, Being Consumed puts forth a positive and inspiring vision of how the body of Christ can engage in economic alternatives. At every turn, Cavanaugh illustrates his theological analysis with concrete examples of Christian economic practices.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0802845614
ISBN-13: 9780802845610
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Should Christians be for or against the free market? For or against globalization? How are we to live in a world of scarcity? William Cavanaugh uses Christian resources to incisively address basic economic matters - the free market, consumer culture, globalization, and scarcity - arguing that we should not just accept these as givens but should instead change the terms of the debate.

Among other things, Cavanaugh discusses how God, in the Eucharist, forms us to consume and be consumed rightly. Examining pathologies of desire in contemporary "free market" economies, Being Consumed puts forth a positive and inspiring vision of how the body of Christ can engage in economic alternatives. At every turn, Cavanaugh illustrates his theological analysis with concrete examples of Christian economic practices.

Author Bio

William T. Cavanaugh is associate professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, and the author of Torture and Eucharist and Theopolitical Imagination.

Endorsements

“Many Christians vaguely sense that all is not well with their relation to consumer society, but find it difficult to name just what ails them. In Being Consumed William Cavanaugh offers the clearest, most helpful diagnosis I have ever seen. No liberal guilt-tripping here, just some serious theological reflection on matters like God, desire, justice, pluralism, and the nature of human freedom. I especially like Cavanaugh’s concrete examples of economic practices consistent with life in the body of Christ. This book will be required reading in my introductory theology course.” -Joseph Mangina, Wycliffe College, Toronto

“Rampaging retail therapy in our Western economics requires a radical analyst. We have an Augustinian prophetic voice in William Cavanaugh, who subjects the free market, consumer culture, globalization, and scarcity to Catholic interrogation. He employs the traditions of Augustine, Aquinas, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and John Paul II, proposing an alternative desire that transforms the church and our practices. Envisioning a eucharistic justice that leaves us rich in community-caring and prosperous in our constant sharing, Cavanaugh is lucid, personal, practical, and theologically wise.” -Gavin D’Costa, University of Bristol

“Can a book free Christians from the ‘invisible hand’ that seems more and more to dominate every aspect of our lives? William Cavanaugh provides a much-needed how-to manual for just such a liberation. Clearly written and even entertaining, Being Consumed first frees us from the ironic position of ‘having no choice’ but to live by the rules of free-market consumerism in a globalized world of scarce resources. Incisive analysis of the powerful and often contradictory assumptions and realities that shape contemporary economic rhetoric and practices finds its counterpoint in a theological vision of freedom, desire, consumption, and economy far richer than that of Milton Friedman. What is more, Cavanaugh shows the practical difference theology makes by telling the stories of real, contemporary Christians who are creating truly free and economically viable practices and spaces structured by the gospel. Through such examples, Cavanaugh makes clear that the everyday economic life of Christians can be different and can make a difference. And he sows seeds that could, if taken seriously by Christians and churches, produce well over a hundredfold — produce, that is, a revolution.” -M. Therese Lysaught, Marquette University

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