Smith roasts the mall

Jamie Smith on the “liturgy” of the shopping mall:

“What the liturgy of the mall trains us to desire as the good life and ‘the American way’ requires such massive consumption of natural resources and cheap (exploitive) labor that there is no possible way for this way of life to be universalized. . . . The liturgy of consumption births in us a desire for a way of life that is destructive of creation itself; moreover, it births in us a desire for a way of life that we can’t feasibly extend to others, creating a system of privilege and exploitation. In short, the only way for this vision of this kingdom to be a reality is if we keep it to ourselves. The mall’s liturgy fosters habits and practices that are unjust, so it does everything it can to prevent us from asking such questions. Don’t ask; don’t tell; just consume.” (James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation, p. 101)

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