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Converting Consumerism: A Liturgical-Ethical Application of Critical Realism

Theology Department, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, St. Joseph, MN 56374, USA
Religions 2019, 10(5), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10050338
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 16 May 2019 / Accepted: 19 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacramental Theology: Theory and Practice from Multiple Perspectives)
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Abstract

Critical realism as a lens of thought is not new to theological inquiry, but recently a growing number of theologians have been using its conceptual frameworks to guide their thought on how social structures function theologically, and how ethics might function in light of its insights. This article pulls these developments into the nexus of liturgy and ethics, applying critical realist categories to contemporary understandings of how liturgical celebration (and the structures thereof) form, inform, and/or malform Christian ethical imaginations and practices. The article begins with a brief survey of the main tenets of critical realism and their histories in theological inquiry, and argues that a main gift critical realism can offer liturgical and sacramental theology is a structural understanding of liturgical narrative- and value-building. Having described this gift, the article moves to a concrete application of this method in liturgical theology and its implications for ethics: addressing consumerism as a culture that can be both validated and challenged by liturgical and sacramental structures. The article ends with some brief suggestions for using and shifting liturgical structures to better facilitate the Christian conversion of consumerism. View Full-Text
Keywords: critical realism; social theory; liturgical theology; sacramental theology; theological ethics; Margaret Archer; social structures; agency critical realism; social theory; liturgical theology; sacramental theology; theological ethics; Margaret Archer; social structures; agency
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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Durheim, B. Converting Consumerism: A Liturgical-Ethical Application of Critical Realism. Religions 2019, 10, 338.

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