CONSUMING FAITH: Integrating Who We Are with What We Buy

Tom Beaudoin, Author . Sheed & Ward $19.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-58051-138-4

Beaudoin's first book, Virtual Faith , alerted many readers to the 30-something Catholic's gift for language, appreciation of material culture's spiritual significance and theological acumen. In this book he turns his attention to a topic he confesses he had previously overlooked: the role of economics in the branded world in which young people live, move and have their being. The book begins with a humorous and unsettling account of the author's attempt to find out who, precisely, had made the contents of his clothes closet. Corporations that expended countless sums on building their brands, Beaudoin discovered, are not eager to reveal where, by whom and under what working conditions their products are manufactured. Borrowing from Naomi Klein's No Logo and the spiritual disciplines of Ignatius, this book proposes an "economic spirituality." Beaudoin can be brilliant, as when he retells Jesus' parable of the rich man and Lazarus as a warning for modern consumers. But he can also indulge in flights of postmodern theological abstraction, and a final, somewhat haphazard chapter of relatively practical suggestions bears only a tenuous relationship to his earlier theorizing. Still, Beaudoin has once again put an understudied topic on the Christian agenda, which is more than enough reason to plow through the woolly parts and wrestle with consumerism's challenge to anyone who, like the author, is "trying to become a Christian." (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/10/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
Paperback - 121 pages - 978-1-58051-208-4
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