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Selling Spirituality: The Silent Takeover of Religion

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  7 reviews
From Feng Shui to holistic medicine, from aromatherapy candles to yoga weekends, spirituality is big business. It promises to soothe away the angst of modern living and to offer an antidote to shallow materialism.

Selling Spirituality is a short, sharp, attack on this fallacy. It shows how spirituality has in fact become a powerful commodity in the global marketplace - a cu
Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 5th 2004 by Routledge (first published January 1st 2004)
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Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Melanie by: Reli 7130 - American Spirituality
The "grumpy" response to what the authors see as a problematic rainbows & unicorns (marketplace-driven, individualist) spirituality. Strengths: Identifies actual things happening in consumer-driven capitalist culture (how would one step out of Western consumer culture?) and makes a convincing case for how the "psychologization" of society contributes to this. Weaknesses: Doesn't focus on everyday people "doing" spirituality (agency of individuals), does focus a lot on "the man behind the curtain ...more
Caleb Roberts
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
By commodifying spirituality, neoliberalism is cutting out the religious middleman when it comes to purveying the opium of the people. So the argument goes here. The authors trace a clear trajectory from the initial privatization/psychologization of religion in modernity to the appropriation of spirituality as a form of covert social control to produce flexible and compliant consumer subjects.

"In effect, the territorial takeover of religion by psychology (individualisation) is the platform for
Richard Thompson
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Carrette is a Foucault scholar so it isn’t surprising that the text is pretty dense. Still an interesting read. The main thesis is that as, through the development of psychology as a “science” and the popularization of (bits of) Eastern wisdom traditions in the West, self / self-worth / self-fulfillment / self –esteem / self-etc.etc. have become the major underpinning of “spirituality’. In the process earlier “religious” thoughts about social justice, relationships to others, the roots of povert ...more
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
A useful book for those with a nagging doubt as to the validity of current trends for all things "spiritual". Anyone with already a sceptical outlook on this matter and of consumerist society in general will find nothing really surprising here. The main problem I had with this book is the authors constant hammering on of their point sometimes several times per page.The view that psychology/psychotherapy is in service of global industry to provide models for ideal passive consumers is an appealin ...more
Steve Wiggins
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great book! Shows how the focus shifting to "spirituality" helps empower movements on the political right. See more at: Sects and Violence in the Ancient World. ...more
J Levy
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really helpful overview of the commodification of spiritual ideas.
Claire O'Connor
May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-1
A Protestant-style staunch response to people doing wtf they want. The whole premise of the book is based on the commodification of religion and spirituality. For me it fails to consider that money has always been involved in religion.
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