Monday, 18 July 2016

Religious Non-Places: Corporate Megachurches and Their Contributions to Consumer Capitalism

an article by George Sanders (Oakland University, USA) published in Journal of Critical Sociology Volume 42 Number 1 (January 2016)


The corporate megachurch represents a pecuniarily driven institution that both emphasizes marketing for the purposes of constant growth, and focuses on the manufacture and delivery of consumer-centric goods and services.

This article draws on the theory of the non-place as conceptualized by Augé, who argues that the non-place is a direct effect of contemporary capitalism’s incessant incursion into ever more areas of life. The non-place refers to any variety of transitory sites that lack historical, cultural, or geographic reference points, and while they seem to be everywhere one is left with the sense of being ‘nowhere’ in particular.

One such place that lacks distinguishing features and fails to provide any contextual reference is the corporate megachurch. Because of its strategic work to distance itself from traditional Christian churches and focus instead on creating homologies with entertainment, self-help, and retail, the non-place church normalizes the banality of consumer capitalism.

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