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The Religion of the Market: Reflections on a Decade of Discussion

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By the mid-1990s scholars of religion had begun to analyze the ideologies associated with global capitalism as a new, hegemonic world faith system, which some referred to as the Religion of the Market. Many have taken polemical positions, either arguing that it is a "false faith" which needs to be exposed, or that it is the appropriate faith for our times. Still others refuse to see global capitalism as a religion and reject the analytical paradigm altogether. This essay argues that describing the ideologies of global capitalism as the dominant faith system in the world today is indeed appropriate, and even necessary if one is fully to understand the role of religious belief and behavior in contemporary society. Moreover, since discussions of global capitalism as a faith system currently lack a coherent or widely recognized framework, adopting and refining the Religion of the Market paradigm will facilitate and improve future scholarly analysis of the faith dimensions of global economics.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal, 1455 DeMaisonneuve Blvd. W, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1M8, Email: rcfoltz@gmail.com

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