Religious Artefacts As Consumer Culture Products

Jeaney Yip, University of Sydney, Australia
Susan Ainsworth, University of Melbourne, Australia
This paper explores how religious and secular discourses are combined in the artefacts of a contemporary mega-church. Through an investigation of music lyrics, practice and performance, we explore how religious discourse intersects with the ‘market system’ and ‘therapeutic ethos’ to create a form of marketed religion that is reflective of its target audience. Through analysis of the music of a successful Sydney-based mega church we explore how seemingly contradictory elements of religious traditions are mixed with contemporary discourses that have widespread consumer appeal. We see the hybrid identity of the mega-church (church and business) accentuating the effects of secularisation and consumer culture through the artefacts it produces. This contradiction and reconciliation is reflexively resonant to affluent post-modern yearning for individualism and materialist instant gratification.
[ to cite ]:
Jeaney Yip and Susan Ainsworth (2010) ,"Religious Artefacts As Consumer Culture Products", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 702-703 .