Vocation and the Politics of Work

Vocation and the Politics of Work : Popular Theology in a Consumer Culture

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This book surveys the theological and cultural appropriations of the Protestant concept of vocation in order to argue for a vocation that has political traction in modern workplaces. It uniquely brings together insights from recent works in political theology and consumer culture studies along with analyses of self-help literature to accomplish this task.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 190 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 408.23g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739178903
  • 9780739178904
  • 2,108,323

Review quote

This book takes you by surprise! It is at once a penetrating critique of the corporate work world and consumer culture and an entirely original contribution to the burgeoning field of political theology. Jeffrey Scholes proves himself to be as steeped in Protestant theology as he is sensitive to the political challenges of our time. This is no neo-traditional theology of work. Instead, it is generating an entirely new concept of the political vocation for our post-secular age, and thereby provides an indispensable tool-or dare I say, even a weapon-in workplace politics and beyond. -- Jeffrey W. Robbins, Lebanon Valley College, author of Radical Democracy and Political Theology Most of us spend most of our lives working, but in an era of stagnant wages and mass unemployment, finding meaning and fulfillment on the job seems like an increasingly distant dream. To the extent that theology has addressed this situation at all, it has too often offered up little more than de-politicized self-help pablum. In Vocation and the Politics of Work, Jeffrey Scholes fills this theological void. Boldly reclaiming the concept of vocation, Scholes constructs a compelling political theology of work. -- Adam Kotsko, Assistant Professor of Humanities, Shimer College With an uncommon interdisciplinary grace, Jeffrey Scholes offers a singular reply to the spiritless workaholic detachment of contemporary American labor. Bandying between the questions of political theology and the presumptions of cultural studies, Scholes rallies his readers to reject an understanding of work as a means to material ends. Instead, he argues that our workplaces are sites for political wakefulness where we might reply to the silken briar of consumer culture. He movingly calls for a return to practices of democratic disobedience that might arouse us from our laboring malcontent. -- Kathryn Lofton, Yale Universityshow more

About Jeffrey Scholes

Jeffrey Scholes is assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and the Director of the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life.show more

Table of contents

Introduction Chapter 1: Theology of Vocation and the Role of Work Chapter 2: Theology at Work Chapter 3: Consumer Culture and Its Effects Chapter 4: The Purchase-Driven Life Chapter 5: Towards a Political Vocationshow more