Shape-Shifting Capital
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Shape-Shifting Capital : Spiritual Management, Critical Theory, and the Ethnographic Project

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Shape-Shifting Capital: Spiritual Management, Critical Theory, and the Ethnographic Project is positioned at the intersection of anthropology, critical theory, and philosophy of religion. First, Gonzalez explores the phenomena of "workplace spirituality" in a language that is accessible to a general readership. Taking contemporary trends in organizational management as a case study, he argues, by way of a detailed ethnographic study of practitioners of workplace spirituality, that the conceptual and institutional boundaries between religion, science, and capitalism are being redrawn by theologized management appropriations of tropes borrowed from creativity theory and quantum mechanics. Second, Gonzalez makes a case for a critical anthropology of religion that combines existential concerns for biography and intentionality with poststructuralist concerns for power, arguing that the ways in which the personalization of metaphor bridges personal and social histories also helps bring about broader epistemic shifts in society. Finally, in a postsecular age in which capitalism itself is explicitly and confidently "spiritual," Gonzalez suggests that it is imperative to reorient our critical energies towards a present day evaluation of postmodern capitalism's boundary-blurring. Gonzalez further argues that the kind of "existential deconstruction" performed by what he calls "existential archeology" can serve the needs of any social criticism of neoliberal "religion" and corporate spirituality.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 412 pages
  • 157.48 x 226.06 x 33.02mm | 657.71g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 7 black & white illustrations
  • 0739180851
  • 9780739180853
  • 2,110,580

About George Gonzalez

George Gonzalez is assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Interdisciplinary Studies at Monmouth University.show more

Review quote

This intellectually capacious book deals with a pervasive feature of neoliberalism that has been overlooked until fairly recently...This wonderful ... book is up to the task of addressing this most pressing of questions. Critical Research on Religion Ultimately this is an important book and a timely addition to the field. It is accessible for the majority of readers, but intended for academics and postgraduate students. Undergraduates may struggle with the theoretical sections, although there is certainly scope for their inclusion on courses focused on theory and methods, religion and postmodernity, secular religion, and religion in America. Postgraduate courses on religion and society should give serious consideration to including this text on their syllabus. Reading Religion Shape-Shifting Capital is a landmark work in the relatively new field of workplace spirituality. Using ethnographic and phenomenological methods, George Gonzalez shows that human existence cannot be reduced to sui generis categories such as religion or reason, the spiritual or the corporate. His point of departure is, rather, the vexed and complex ways in which the struggle for a livelihood plays out in workaday and quotidian settings. This brilliant book offers exciting new horizons for an 'existential archeology' of our times, for the study of religion in everyday life, and for the critique of capitalism in a digital age. -- Michael D. Jackson, Distinguished Visiting Professor of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School Gonzalez's broad erudition and eye for ethnographic detail make this a welcome addition to the growing field of 'workplace spirituality.' With a thorough, perceptive grounding in the intellectual history of organizational theory, Shape-Shifting Capital offers readers a sophisticated yet utterly accessible road map to the core issues of religion at work. -- Bethany Moreton, Professor of History, Dartmouth Collegeshow more

Table of contents

Introduction Chapter 1: Seeing Things Whole Chapter 2: Living Cosmologies: Dancing on a Wheel Chapter 3: Practices of Materiality and Spirituality Among Landry's Workers Chapter 4: The Shape-Shifting Metaphorical Body of Capital Chapter 5: Towards a Critical Ethnography of Shape-Shifting Capital Conclusion Epilogueshow more

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