The Gospel of Sustainability: Media, Market, and LOHAS
From organic produce and clothing to socially conscious investing and eco-tourism, the lifestyles of health and sustainability, or LOHAS, movement encompasses diverse products and practices intended to contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle for people and the planet. In The Gospel of Sustainability, Monica Emerich explores the contemporary spiritual expression of this green cultural shift at the confluence of the media and the market. This is the first book to qualitatively study the LOHAS marketplace and the development of a discourse of sustainability of the self and the social and natural worlds. Emerich draws on myriad sources related to the notions of mindful consumption found throughout the LOHAS marketplace, including not just products and services but marketing materials, events, lectures, regulatory policies, and conversations with leaders and consumers. These disparate texts, she argues, universally project a spiritual message about personal and planetary health that is in turn reforming capitalism by making consumers more conscious.
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Media, Spiritualities and Social Change
This book maps emergent global practices and discourses of mediated, spiritualized social change. Bringing together scholarly perspectives from around the world and across disciplines, the authors explore how ‘spiritualities’ express themselves through and with media – from television to Internet, from fashion to art murals – as socially transforming voices and practices. The very fluidity of the meaning of spirituality is part of its appeal: it can service as easily as a reference to a perceived common essence of humanness as it can work to legitimate market-based practices. While the involvement of spiritual life with social transformation is certainly not peculiar to contemporary societies, what has changed is the upsurge of media in these matters. In the specific case of religion, globalization has unleashed a cascade of unexpected and unpredictable implications, many of which are consequences of the media. The authors here show ways in which media and spiritualities are engaged around the world in efforts to restructure paradigms, institutions, beliefs and practices to affect social change.
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Practical Spiritualities in a Media Age
Practical Spiritualities in a Media Age explores how and why media become the site and source of spiritual expressions that address the mundane or everydayness of our lives. Including international case studies and essays from leading scholars such as Stewart Hoover and Graham Harvey, the book examines the ways and the places in which people have employed media and information technologies to weave spiritual meaning throughout the demands and pastimes of their lives. Topics range from food and sex to spiritual tourism.
In doing so, the volume takes up a call from Paul Heelas’ seminal work, Spiritualities of Life, to provide more examples, more richness and more depth to the variety of spiritual practices that exist in late modernity. Providing critical, scholarly explorations of the complexities and contradictions of late-modern spiritual practices, Practical Spiritualities in a Media Age is a must-read for anyone working in the intersection of media, religion or spirituality, and culture.
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