Consuming Religion

Photo of cover of the book titled "Consuming Religion"

Kathryn Lofton, professor of religious studies, of American studies, and of history

(University of Chicago Press)

In “Consuming Religion,” Kathryn Lofton asks: What are you drawn to like, to watch, or even to binge? What are you free to consume, and what do you become through consumption? These questions of desire and value, she argues, are questions for the study of religion.

In 11 essays, Lofton explores topics such as “Religion and the Authority in American Parenting,” “Rites of Salvation in the Soap Campaign,” “Binge Religion: Social Life in Extremity,” and “On the Origins of Corporate Culture.” Lofton shows the conceptual levers of religion in thinking about social modes of encounter, use, and longing. Wherever we see people articulate their dreams of and for the world, wherever we see those dreams organized into protocols, images, manuals, and contracts, we glimpse what the word “religion” allows us to describe and understand, she maintains.