Modern Believing

ON RETURNING TO THE CHURCH: PRACTISING RELIGION IN A NEOLIBERAL AGE

Modern Believing (2016), 57, (3), 229–240.

Abstract

In 1999 I wrote an article ‘on leaving the church’ (Craske and Marsh 1999). In this article I revisit this theme having recently returned to church. I explore the themes that led to me leaving (the Christian contribution to the history of misogyny and the desire for liberation, coupled with the desire to have the freedom to think); themes which, paradoxically, are not dissimilar to the reasons behind my return. The paper engages with the reductionist functionalism of the dominant social and political paradigm of neoliberal consumerism, and engages with Michèle Le Doeuff’s claim that the framework provided by religion for life is attractive, precisely because it allows for uncertainty and a deep engagement with the realities of being human.

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Allen, A. (2015) ‘The Cynical Educator’, in Other Education: The Journal of Educational Alternatives. 4.1, pp. 4–15. The Cynical Educator Other Education: The Journal of Educational Alternatives 4.1 4 15 Google Scholar

Anderson, P. S. (1998) A Feminist Philosophy of Religion. Oxford: Blackwell. A Feminist Philosophy of Religion Google Scholar

Anderson, P. S. (ed.) (2010) New Topics in Feminist Philosophy of Religion. London: Springer. New Topics in Feminist Philosophy of Religion Google Scholar

Arendt, H. (1998[1958]) The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. The Human Condition Google Scholar

Beattie, T. (2004) ‘Redeeming Mary’ in P. S. Anderson and B. Clack (eds.) Feminist Philosophy of Religion: Critical Readings. London: Routledge, pp. 107–22. Redeeming Mary Feminist Philosophy of Religion: Critical Readings 107 22 Google Scholar

Clack, B. (1999) ‘On Leaving the Church,’ in J. Craske and C. Marsh (eds.) Methodism and the Future: Facing the Challenge. London: Cassell. On Leaving the Church Methodism and the Future: Facing the Challenge Google Scholar

Clack, B. (2012) ‘Being Human: Religion and Superstition in a Psychoanalytic Philosophy of Religion’ in M. Cain and C. Sandis (eds.) Human Nature. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 70, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 255–79. Being Human: Religion and Superstition in a Psychoanalytic Philosophy of Religion Human Nature 255 79 Google Scholar

Craske, J. and C. Marsh (1999) (eds.) Methodism and the Future: Facing the Challenge. London: Casey. Methodism and the Future: Facing the Challenge Google Scholar

Crawford, M. (2010) Shop Class as Soulcraft. London: Penguin. Shop Class as Soulcraft Google Scholar

Goodchild, P. (2002) Capitalism and Religion: The Price of Piety. London: Routledge. Capitalism and Religion: The Price of Piety Google Scholar

Harvey, D. (2005) A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. A Brief History of Neoliberalism Google Scholar

Hollywood, A. (2004) ‘Practice, Belief and Feminist Philosophy of Religion’ in P. S. Anderson and B. Clack (eds.) Feminist Philosophy of Religion: Critical Readings. London: Routledge, pp. 225–40. Practice, Belief and Feminist Philosophy of Religion Feminist Philosophy of Religion: Critical Readings 225 40 Google Scholar

Le Doeuff, M. (1989) The Philosophical Imaginary. London: Athlone Press. The Philosophical Imaginary Google Scholar

MacCulloch, D. (2014) Silence: A Christian History. London: Penguin. Silence: A Christian History Google Scholar

Maitland, S. (2009) A Book of Silence. London: Granta. A Book of Silence Google Scholar

McLuhan, M. (2005) The Relation of Environment to Anti-Environment. Berkeley, CA: Gingko Press. The Relation of Environment to Anti-Environment Google Scholar

Mirowski, P. (2014) Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown. London: Verso. Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown Google Scholar

Moody, K. S. and S. Shakespeare (2012) Affinities: Philosophy, Religion and the Affirmation of Life. Farnham: Ashgate. Affinities: Philosophy, Religion and the Affirmation of Life Google Scholar

Pattison, G. (2001) A Short Course in the Philosophy of Religion. London: SCM. A Short Course in the Philosophy of Religion Google Scholar

Rose, N. (1999) Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self. London: Free Association. Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self Google Scholar

Ruether, R. R. (1983) Sexism and God-Talk. London: SCM. Sexism and God-Talk Google Scholar

Scott, J. (1998) Seeing Like a State. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. Seeing Like a State Google Scholar

Sutherland, S. (1984) God, Jesus and Belief. Oxford: Blackwell. God, Jesus and Belief Google Scholar

Tillich, P. (1962[1949]), The Shaking of the Foundations. Harmondsworth: Penguin. The Shaking of the Foundations Google Scholar

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Author details

Clack, Beverley