A new book by Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture and Director of Catholic Studies Antonio Alonso has recently been published by Fordham University Press. In Commodified Communion: Eucharist, Consumer Culture, and the Practice of Everyday Life, Alonso calls into question Christianity’s exclusive focus on resistance to consumer culture, and the Eucharist as the dominant mode of that resistance.
Reducing the work of theology to resistance and centering Christian hope in a Eucharist that might better support it, Alonso argues, undermines the ability to talk about the activity of God within a consumer culture. By reframing the question in terms of God’s activity in and in spite of it, the book offers a lived theological account of consumer culture that recognizes not only its deceptions but also traces of truth in its broken promises and fallen hopes.
Alonso’s vision beyond resistance also examines the ways that Christianity is present through commodities. Woven throughout the book are close readings of the theological significance of four fragments of his own everyday life: his grandmother’s home altar, the hymnals of his childhood, a series of Apple products, and commodified communion hosts.