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Neoliberal Mythmaking: On “Well-Being” as the New Protestant Work Ethic

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AbstractTo what extent has modernization transformed those institutions and discourses commonly called ‘religions,’ and vice versa? How can we talk about those transformations without employing a naïve theory of secularization or privatization? And what is the connection between capitalism, modern ‘spirituality,’ and discourses on ‘well-being’? Situated within the tradition of Marx, Weber, and Durkheim, this paper will propose how we might begin to answer such questions, and will consider a contemporary Sufi text as an example of one site where these questions converge.

Affiliations: 1: St. Thomas Aquinas College Sparkill, NY 10976 USA, Email:, URL:


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