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Religions 2016, 7(8), 103; doi:10.3390/rel7080103

‘It’s Not the Money but the Love of Money That Is the Root of All Evil’: Social Subjection, Machinic Enslavement and the Limits of Anglican Social Theology

CODEC Research Centre for Digital Theology, Durham University, St John’s College, 3 South Bailey, Durham DH1 4NP, UK
Academic Editors: Douglas James Davies and Michael J. Thate
Received: 18 March 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 5 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and the Individual: Belief, Practice, and Identity)
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Abstract

Maurizio Lazzarato argues that contemporary capitalism functions through two central apparatuses: Social subjection and machinic enslavement. Social subjection equips individuals with a subjectivity, assigning them identities, sexes, bodies, professions, and other markers of identity, along with a sense of their own individual agency within society. Machinic enslavement arises out of the growing reliance of capitalism on what Lazzarato calls “asignifying semiotics”—processes of production that function increasingly independently of human awareness or intention. Drawing on this analysis of the contemporary functioning of capitalism, this paper will explore the concepts of individuals and society at work in recent Anglican social theology. Focusing on two recent texts which attempt to give an overview of Anglican social thinking—Eve Poole’s The Church on Capitalism: Theology and the Market and Malcolm Brown’s Anglican Social Theology—it will suggest that, within the contemporary Church of England, mainstream attempts to reckon with political questions tend to understand the role of individual agency and ethical behaviour in ways which prop up existing social, political and economic structures rather than disrupting them. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lazzarato; Anglicanism; Church of England; social theology; capitalism; posthumanism; ethics; politics Lazzarato; Anglicanism; Church of England; social theology; capitalism; posthumanism; ethics; politics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rose, M. ‘It’s Not the Money but the Love of Money That Is the Root of All Evil’: Social Subjection, Machinic Enslavement and the Limits of Anglican Social Theology. Religions 2016, 7, 103.

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