Christian Perspectives on Overcoming Greed in a Consumerist Society: Buying Fear as Collusion with Greed versus an Economy of Grace

Christian Perspectives on Overcoming Greed in a Consumerist Society: Buying Fear as Collusion... OVERCOMING GREED Christian Perspectives on Overcoming Greed in a Consumeristic Society: Buying Fear as Collusion with Greed versus an Economy of Grace 1 Paula M. Cooey Macalester College My thesis is simple: Overcoming greed depends on overcoming fear. Both fear and greed are variations on desire. To overcome them requires nothing less than the transfiguration of desire. Transfiguring desire leads to a lifetime of dissent against the corruption that presently produces the greed and fear characteristic of this world. Christian traditions provide resources particularly suited to transfiguring desire and sustaining a lifetime of dissent.2 The human conditions of greed and fear are hardly new to the twenty-first century. However, in the aftermath of 9/11, as complicated by the already-in-process economic downturn, greed that benefits the few who exercise the most political and economic power has accomplished its ends far more successfully by getting ordinary people from the upper middle classes downward to buy fear. We now live consumed by and consuming fear, or terror, on a daily basis, terror brought to us not only by international guerrilla forces, but also on a far grander scale by our own political and economic leaders. Once I have developed what I http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Christian Perspectives on Overcoming Greed in a Consumerist Society: Buying Fear as Collusion with Greed versus an Economy of Grace

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Abstract

OVERCOMING GREED Christian Perspectives on Overcoming Greed in a Consumeristic Society: Buying Fear as Collusion with Greed versus an Economy of Grace 1 Paula M. Cooey Macalester College My thesis is simple: Overcoming greed depends on overcoming fear. Both fear and greed are variations on desire. To overcome them requires nothing less than the transfiguration of desire. Transfiguring desire leads to a lifetime of dissent against the corruption that presently produces the greed and fear characteristic of this world. Christian traditions provide resources particularly suited to transfiguring desire and sustaining a lifetime of dissent.2 The human conditions of greed and fear are hardly new to the twenty-first century. However, in the aftermath of 9/11, as complicated by the already-in-process economic downturn, greed that benefits the few who exercise the most political and economic power has accomplished its ends far more successfully by getting ordinary people from the upper middle classes downward to buy fear. We now live consumed by and consuming fear, or terror, on a daily basis, terror brought to us not only by international guerrilla forces, but also on a far grander scale by our own political and economic leaders. Once I have developed what I

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 10, 2004

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