Serving McGod or McMammon

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  • Title: Serving McGod or McMammon: A Sacramentalist Critique of the McDonaldization Thesis
  • Author(s): William J. F. Keenan
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Religion in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society
  • Keywords: Consumer Culture, McDonaldization, Religion, Sacramentalism
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2154-8633 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8641 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v09i02/1-17
  • Citation: Keenan, William J. F.. 2019. "Serving McGod or McMammon: A Sacramentalist Critique of the McDonaldization Thesis." The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society 9 (2): 1-17. doi:10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v09i02/1-17.
  • Extent: 17 pages

Abstract

This article provides a “sacramentalist” critique of George Ritzer’s “McDonaldization” thesis. Ritzer’s “Weberian” condemnation of the universal commodification of late modern consumer capitalism is firmly grounded in secular humanist presuppositions. The aim here is to add “spiritual” value to this perspective by constructing a socio-theological supplement to Ritzer’s “religiously unmusical” attack. While the argument here is primarily sociological, it draws upon resources available in religious discourse to enhance the available body of sociological criticism of the “prosumerist” devaluation of contemporary culture. The standpoint adopted here is that materialism—“bread alone”—is not enough to live by; acknowledging a “deep sacred” dimension to human culture fundamentally challenges the modern secularist orthodox consensus.