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Being Consumed


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About the Author

William T. Cavanaugh is associate professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.


Joseph Mangina
-- Wycliffe College, Toronto
"Many Christians vaguely sense that all is not well with their relation to consumer society, but find it difficult to name just what ails them. In Being Consumed William Cavanaugh offers the clearest, most helpful diagnosis I have ever seen. No liberal guilt-tripping here, just some serious theological reflection on matters like God, desire, justice, pluralism, and the nature of human freedom. I especially like Cavanaugh's concrete examples of economic practices consistent with life in the body of Christ. This book will be required reading in my introductory theology course." Gavin D'Costa
-- University of Bristol
"Rampaging retail therapy in our Western economics requires a radical analyst. We have an Augustinian prophetic voice in William Cavanaugh, who subjects the free market, consumer culture, globalization, and scarcity to Catholic interrogation. He employs the traditions of Augustine, Aquinas, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and John Paul II, proposing an alternative desire that transforms the church and our practices. Envisioning a eucharistic justice that leaves us rich in community-caring and prosperous in our constant sharing, Cavanaugh is lucid, personal, practical, and theologically wise." M. Therese Lysaught
-- Marquette University
"Can a book free Christians from the 'invisible hand' that seems more and more to dominate every aspect of our lives? William Cavanaugh provides a much-needed how-to manual for just such a liberation. Clearly written and even entertaining, Being Consumed frees us from the ironic position of 'having no choice' but to live by the rules of free-market consumerism in a globalized world of scarce resources. . . Cavanaugh makes clear that the everyday economic life of Christians can be different and can make a difference. And he sows seeds that could, if taken seriously by Christians and churches, produce well over a hundredfold -- produce, that is, a revolution." Catholic Register
"Being Consumed is a thoughtful look at a difficult set of issues. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand better how we might apply Christian teaching within our modern economic framework" Expository Times
"Cavanaugh provides a nuanced, yet accessible theological analysis of consumer culture." Religious Studies Review
"An ecclesiologically informed economics whose capacity to transform our lives, if we would heed its various concrete suggestions, should not be underestimated." Interpretation
"This is a highly readable and incisive book. Cavanaugh boldly engages contemporary economic assumptions -- and some of their theological shortcomings -- with wit and vigor, and he proves to be a knowledgeable and thoughtful guide." New Theology Review
"In four accessible chapters Cavanaugh deals with issues that constituted this decade's social, economic, political, environmental, and human rights crises. . . . [The book's] brevity is attractive, but that in no way dilutes its compelling depth." Christian Century
"Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire is a deceptively short yet theologically deep book. . . .Thoughtful and well-timed." Catholic Books Review
"Cavanaugh's treatment of a complex subject is filled with insights, careful analysis, and helpful suggestions. . . . This book is a must for Catholic and Christian college libraries."

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