Eliacin Rosario-Cruz

Abrazando Esperanzas

Month: March 2009 (page 2 of 11)

Being Consumed – Short Book Review



Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire

By William T. Cavanaugh

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008


Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire is the latest book of Catholic theologian William Cavanaugh; a professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is also the author of Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ and Theopolical Imagination: Christian Practices of Space and Time, among many other publications and articles.

In this short book [a merely 103 pages of heavyweight theological insights and social critic] Cavanaugh addresses the matter of economic life, free market, consumerism, globalization, scarcity and desire from the deep perspective of the Eucharist. 

This book is a must read [right away] by those interested in looking for substantial alternatives to the way we view our engagement as consumers and the of use of our resources. As the author expound in the book, most of us when confronted with the questions and matters of economy, especially the idea of the free market, we tend to be confined to two bound sets of ideas/opinions. One group  embrace completely the idea of “free” market, be it out of the ideology or the propaganda of nationalism or out of docile pragmatism.  While the other group question and/or reject the economic model without presenting much of a solution to the problem with it. In this book Cavanaugh invite us to look at the Eucharist as an alternative foundation for creating really free micro-economies of abundance and grace. The author included several excellent examples of community based organizations and business collectives that embodied [pun intended] his points.

In my opinion this is the most accessible book dealing with the creation of a radical re-framing of how we engage the model of free market in a non-reactionary way. Everyday we are exposed to the new construct of desires. From the latest Apple gadget that promise to give us that edge as creative individuals, to the newest emerging/emergent/missional books and conferences that promise to enlighten everyone with new insights into culture and Christianity. Free market has this unobtrusive way to turn into profit it’s own dissident voices and movements. It is not surprising that religion is quite a profitable product in the global mall. 

As a Catholic Theologian Cavanaugh point to the Holy Eucharist as the alternative telos to our participation in the free market.  While the market is driven by the manufacture of the never acquired sense of fulfillment via desire and consumption, it is in the Eucharist that we encounter the graceful abundance of God and our sense of purpose. But this is not just via some spiritual gymnastic. If we are to take as truth the call to participate and consume the elements of  Communion along side others, this mean that at a point in the celebration when take such elements that belong to One Body, that of Christ, by it’s agency  we are transform us into the same thing we are consuming, The Body of Christ. The Consumer is consumed.  The author is serious about the implications of being part of One Body with other brothers and sisters. It is because of that connection [that goes beyond social strata, blood, national identity] that we are aware and work toward an economic engagement that is just and generous. It is impossible to ignore the effect that the so-called free market economy have in our sisters and brothers, when we take to heart the reality of they being part of us and us being part of them, One Body.

I invite you to read this powerful little book and start dreaming of some alternatives.

Homegrown Revolution – short film about urban homesteading

(HT: Sustainable Traditions)

sound bites of life on 2009-03-26

  • RT @humanspectrum: Pictures of Spring and the human spectrum http://bit.ly/6NPur #
  • Tonight: dinner, play with kids, put kids to bed, dishes, tea with wife, community evening prayer, books, sleep. In that order. #
  • @jaybakker lucky you.@jaybakker #
  • @brainjuice at starting the app, I don’t even get a chance to start posting. #
  • @makeesha sorry to jump into the conversation, but same here in terms of inclusion and diversity. #
  • RT @MHMorgan: RT @breyeschow: A few thoughts for my mainline “emergent” friends post http://tinyurl.com/dyer6p. #
  • FYI March 21-28 Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination #
  • @wendy_johnson you probably had them at hello. #
  • Walking with Catie to her dance class. Picking up coffee and hot cocoa on our way. It is a nice day for a daughter & daddy morning stroll. #
  • @lofitribe calvinistas is how it is said in Spanish. #
  • Book Recommendation: The Becoming of G_d by Ian Mobsby http://tinyurl.com/dnkaxk One of my best spiritual/religious/emerging read of 2008. #
  • live chatting with @missional #
  • eating a german ketchup & peanuts chocolate bar, it is better than you think. Thanks to Becky. #

Renouncing the dominant frame of reference

Or in rastafarian terms, “steppin outa Babylon.”

sound bites of life on 2009-03-25

  • Looking fwd celebrating the life of Oscar Romero with friends tonight at Mustard Seed House. Food, readings, prayers and the film Romero. #
  • @brainjuice link you gave me to download latest version is broken #
  • @wbboyd Congratulations! Now tell us more. #
  • @jason_berg we had a good blessed time. Romero’s words and actions are timeless. Food was delicious. #
  • @wendy_johnson You’re a brave soul! #
  • In Seattle – do not miss the Green Festival this weekend http://tinyurl.com/d8oxxf #
  • @missional if you can get a couple donors to buy you 4-6 flip cameras, then you’ll have the kids sharing their stories from diff viewpoints. #
  • @brainjuice still crashing. #
  • @spiritfarmer hope you are feeling better. #
  • Excellent article – Building Community in a Multicultural Church, by Efrem Smith http://tinyurl.com/d9rhmu #
  • to the beat of the Fugees. Catching up after 2 weeks of paternity leave. #
  • so what’s stopping you? http://tinyurl.com/cesz3b #
  • Blogo still crashing, nice little blog editor app, such a short life. http://www.drinkbrainjuice.com/blogo #
  • RT @cwdaniels: The Move Trailer for “Where the Wild Things Are”: http://tinyurl.com/cmst4n #
  • Reading- Dread “I” In-a-Babylon: Cultural Resistance and Revitalization, Chanting Down Babylon http://tinyurl.com/cdfvc3 #
  • Remembering the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary http://tinyurl.com/c9ukpm #
  • @jonestony calvinistas? are you writing in Spanish now? #
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