Individual Presentation or Panel Title

The Wonderful World of the Neoliberal Megachurch

Abstract

Faced with decreasing church enrollment, some churches are turning to corporate models in order to grow "market share." The most effective of these are the megachurches - churches with over 2,000 weekly attendees. By re-making the Christian church in their own image -- a neoliberal image -- and converting church-goers to consumers, the corporate megachurch has experienced significant growth. These churches appeal to the individual's self-interest and desire for a quality product by creating consumer-friendly non-places (Auge) and offering stimulating, pleasurable experiences (Ahmed). The megachurch has become a "feel good" fantasy world absent the humility or sacrifice of the traditional Christian church.

Presentation Description

By creating a consumer-friendly environment focused on emotional needs and sanitized of Christian symbology and scripture, the neoliberal megachurch has created a profitable wonderland centered on the individual's search for happiness.

Keywords

Neoliberalism, Megachurch, Affective economies, Non-spaces, Religion

Location

Forsyth

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Jun 9th, 11:00 AM Jun 9th, 12:15 PM

The Wonderful World of the Neoliberal Megachurch

Forsyth

Faced with decreasing church enrollment, some churches are turning to corporate models in order to grow "market share." The most effective of these are the megachurches - churches with over 2,000 weekly attendees. By re-making the Christian church in their own image -- a neoliberal image -- and converting church-goers to consumers, the corporate megachurch has experienced significant growth. These churches appeal to the individual's self-interest and desire for a quality product by creating consumer-friendly non-places (Auge) and offering stimulating, pleasurable experiences (Ahmed). The megachurch has become a "feel good" fantasy world absent the humility or sacrifice of the traditional Christian church.