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Saturday, May 09, 2015

Religion of the Market

Reflections on the Religion of the Market

Capitalism is the West’s Dominant Religion

“One can behold in capitalism a religion, that is to say, capitalism essentially serves to satisfy the same worries, anguish, and disquiet formerly answered by so-called religion.”
— Walter Benjamin
“This yellow slave will knit and break religions”
— William Shakespeare, “Timon of Athens”
David R. Loy, a professor of international studies at Bunkyo University in Japan and a Zen Buddhist teacher, offers us a compelling viewpoint on why we ought to understand our present economic system as the West’s dominant religion. In A Buddhist History of the West (2002), Loy argues that, although religion is “notoriously difficult to define,” if we “adopt a functionalist view and understand religion as what grounds us by teaching us what this world is, and what our role in the world is, then it becomes evident that traditional religions are fulfilling this role less and less, because that function is being supplanted by other belief systems and value systems.”/.../

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