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The Throne of Sacrifice: the co-option of faith in the time of neoliberal totalization

Jennings, M. (2019) The Throne of Sacrifice: the co-option of faith in the time of neoliberal totalization. Uniting Church Studies, 22 . pp. 9-20.


Neoliberalism co-opts and reconfigures elements of life formerly regarded as non-economic, such
as religious faith, in order to facilitate the reduction of human beings to nothing more than homo
oeconomicus – the human as economic agent. On the face of it, neoliberalism is incompatible with
Christianity, which grounds its theological anthropology in humanity’s creation in the image of God: a
substantive conception of the human person fundamentally different from the empty “human capital”
of the neoliberal imaginary. However, some forms of Christianity have adapted to and appropriated
the project of neoliberalism. In this paper, I will sketch the neoliberal understanding of liberty and the
human being. I will address the challenge that neoliberalism presents to faith, arguing that Christian
faith in particular is in peril of being reduced to nothing more than “spiritual capital:” a technologyof-
the-self, employed to optimise the utility, flexibility, and ultimately fungibility of little capitals in
the world of no alternative.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: United Theological College
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