© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2003 Worldviews 7,1-2 196-217 Also available online – www.brill.nl CONTROLLING CONSUMPTION: A ROLE FOR CHRISTIANITY? Normand M. Laurendeau Abstract Economic globalization suggests that sustainability will be threatened more by con- sumption than by population. While technology should prove helpful, our major environmental threat appears to be the rising demand for products and services. Hence, in the long run, sustainability requires human actions to prevent systemic harm rather than technical solutions that might merely reduce speci c harm to the environment. In general, Christianity has dealt only weakly with the ethics of sus- tainability, and especially with the continuing consumption of global resources by a Z uent nations. In this paper, I analyze the potential for a new Christian focus on the satisfaction, satiation, and sublimation of material needs and desires. Important queries considered by the analysis include the following: (1) Does technology cre- ate metaphysical desire? (2) Is consumption thus inherently addictive? (3) Can reli- gion help control this addiction? Employing dispositive and operative aspects of responsibility theory, I argue that a convivial future requires that we give prime attention to the demands of both distributive justice and environmental sustainability. On this basis,
Worldviews – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
Keywords: CONSUMPTION; CHRISTIANITY; SUSTAINABILITY; RESPONSIBILITY THEORY; KENOSIS; TECHNOLOGY
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