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The challenge of being a Christian in a consumer society is at the heart of Dr Mark Clavier’s new book, which was launched at Brecon Cathedral last night.
On Consumer Culture, Identity, the Church and Rhetorics of Delight turns to Augustine of Hippo to find insights into how the consumer culture shapes how we understand the world and ourselves and how the church can begin to challenge that culture. The book was influenced, he says, by his work with students who had grown up in a thorough-going consumer culture.
“The promises made by the market are alluring. Marketeers use persuasive language to attach products to individual identities. And there’s now no escaping these sales pitches,” Mark said.
“It’s no good preaching the Gospel unless we seek, in the words of Augustine, to teach, delight, and move. He recognised that preachers and teachers need to be able to grab people’s attention and delight people in order to appeal to their hearts. You might say that was part of my strategy when I was at St Michael’s College was to foster a distinctively Christian community in which ordinands could delight and my hope was that they could carry that experience with them into their ministry.”
On Consumer Culture, Identity, the Church and Rhetorics of Delight is part of a new series by Bloomsbury entitled ‘Reading Augustine’. The purpose of the series is to show Augustine’s importance to contemporary thought.
“The opportunity to write the book was exciting as it brought together my prior work on consumerism and Augustine,” Mark said.
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