100 books like Consuming Religion

By Kathryn Lofton,

Here are 100 books that Consuming Religion fans have personally recommended if you like Consuming Religion. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise

Chad E. Seales Author Of Religion Around Bono: Evangelical Enchantment and Neoliberal Capitalism

From my list on American evangelicalism and neoliberal religion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated by the ways religion reconciles contradiction. Both of my parents were public school teachers in the panhandle of Florida, and I now work at a public university in Texas, yet the culture in which I was raised, of white evangelicalism, supported economic policies of neoliberalism that defunded public life. My interest in American religion is motivated by the question of why we participate in systems that harm us. This is an economic question, but sufficient answers must address the power of religion to shape what we see as morally good and bad. These books all do that.

Chad's book list on American evangelicalism and neoliberal religion

Chad E. Seales Why did Chad love this book?

Having grown up in a southern evangelical family in the 1980s and ‘90s, I never understood why my parents, like other southerners, were such staunch supporters of Sam Walton and Wal-Mart, when the chain store's economic approach of buy low, sell low, eroded small-town life. Then I read Moreton's book and it all made sense.

By Bethany Moreton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Serve God and Wal-Mart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the decades after World War II, evangelical Christianity nourished America's devotion to free markets, free trade, and free enterprise. The history of Wal-Mart uncovers a complex network that united Sun Belt entrepreneurs, evangelical employees, Christian business students, overseas missionaries, and free-market activists. Through the stories of people linked by the world's largest corporation, Bethany Moreton shows how a Christian service ethos powered capitalism at home and abroad.

While industrial America was built by and for the urban North, rural Southerners comprised much of the labor, management, and consumers in the postwar service sector that raised the Sun Belt to…


Book cover of Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala

Chad E. Seales Author Of Religion Around Bono: Evangelical Enchantment and Neoliberal Capitalism

From my list on American evangelicalism and neoliberal religion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated by the ways religion reconciles contradiction. Both of my parents were public school teachers in the panhandle of Florida, and I now work at a public university in Texas, yet the culture in which I was raised, of white evangelicalism, supported economic policies of neoliberalism that defunded public life. My interest in American religion is motivated by the question of why we participate in systems that harm us. This is an economic question, but sufficient answers must address the power of religion to shape what we see as morally good and bad. These books all do that.

Chad's book list on American evangelicalism and neoliberal religion

Chad E. Seales Why did Chad love this book?

No other book better encapsulates the evangelical spirit of neoliberal policies in the details of everyday life, including what it feels like to be arrested in the United States for being part of a gang, and ending up in a call center in Central America, only to be morally shamed for not working hard enough, as your corporate employer leverages the power of religion, and the threat of danger, to keep you trapped there. 

By Kevin Lewis O'Neill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Secure the Soul as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I'm not perfect," Mateo confessed, "Nobody is. But I try." Secure the Soul shuttles between the life of Mateo, a born-again, ex-gang member in Guatemala and the gang prevention programs that work so hard to keep him alive. Along the way, this poignantly written ethnography uncovers the Christian underpinnings of Central American security. In the streets of Guatemala City - amid angry lynch mobs, overcrowded prisons, and paramilitary death squads - millions of dollars empower church missions, faith-based programs, and seemingly secular security projects to prevent gang violence through the practice of Christian piety. With Guatemala increasingly defined by both…


Book cover of One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America

Andrew L. Whitehead Author Of American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church

From my list on Christian Nationalism in the United States.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the relationship between Christianity and the United States for decades. Much of my work in the area of Christian nationalism is the result of my personal religious history and experiences, as well as my work as a social scientist. I’ve always been fascinated by how religion influences and is influenced by its social context. Christian nationalism in the US is a clear example of how influential religious ideologies can be in our social world.

Andrew's book list on Christian Nationalism in the United States

Andrew L. Whitehead Why did Andrew love this book?

Knowing our history is so important, and this is one of the best books on the history of Christian nationalism in the United States during the 20th century.

What becomes so clear is the cultural influences on American Christianity including which voices are lifted up, and which ones are ignored or silenced. Let’s just say you won’t ever look at Billy Graham and his work the same way again.

By Kevin M. Kruse,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked One Nation Under God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We're often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God , historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the belief that America is fundamentally and formally Christian originated in the 1930s.To fight the slavery" of FDR's New Deal, businessmen enlisted religious activists in a campaign for freedom under God" that culminated in the election of their ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. The new president revolutionized the role of religion in American politics. He inaugurated new traditions like the National Prayer Breakfast, as Congress added the phrase under God" to…


Book cover of Spirituality, Corporate Culture, and American Business: The Neoliberal Ethic and the Spirit of Global Capital

Chad E. Seales Author Of Religion Around Bono: Evangelical Enchantment and Neoliberal Capitalism

From my list on American evangelicalism and neoliberal religion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated by the ways religion reconciles contradiction. Both of my parents were public school teachers in the panhandle of Florida, and I now work at a public university in Texas, yet the culture in which I was raised, of white evangelicalism, supported economic policies of neoliberalism that defunded public life. My interest in American religion is motivated by the question of why we participate in systems that harm us. This is an economic question, but sufficient answers must address the power of religion to shape what we see as morally good and bad. These books all do that.

Chad's book list on American evangelicalism and neoliberal religion

Chad E. Seales Why did Chad love this book?

Austin, Texas, where I now live, is home to the first Whole Foods in America. Before the chain of grocery stores was bought out by Amazon, I used to shop there. Then I stopped, or well, I no longer went as often, because I learned in LoRusso's book that company founder John Mackey promoted a libertarian spirituality that considered government interference morally hostile and went as far as to proclaim Obama Care a form of fascism. 

By James Dennis Lorusso,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spirituality, Corporate Culture, and American Business as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By the early twenty-first century, Americans had embraced a holistic vision of work, that one's job should be imbued with meaning and purpose, that business should serve not only stockholders but also the common good, and that, for many, should attend to the "spiritual" health of individuals and society alike.

While many voices celebrate efforts to introduce "spirituality in the workplace" as a recent innovation that holds the potential to positively transform business and the American workplace, James Dennis LoRusso argues that workplace spirituality is in fact more closely aligned with neoliberal ideologies that serve the interests of private wealth…


Book cover of Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern

Elyssa Goodman Author Of Glitter and Concrete: A Cultural History of Drag in New York City

From my list on living a glittering life in New York City.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love of New York City began at a young age–my parents were from Queens and the Bronx, and they always spoke about it with such adoration. As a young person in high school, I ached to get out of South Florida and find my way to the city they described in such loving detail. I began reading about it within the topics that interested me–music, art, fashion, performance, and more–and this beautiful world opened up, full of creative possibilities. I moved to New York in 2010 and have been writing about it and photographing it ever since for a host of publications.

Elyssa's book list on living a glittering life in New York City

Elyssa Goodman Why did Elyssa love this book?

I originally read this book in my late teens, but I never forgot how much it taught me not just about flappers, but how history can leap off the page. I even cited this book as an influence in my book proposal for Glitter and Concrete.

Flappers were such a vibrant group of women, and Zeitz does them justice bringing them to life. I wanted the drag artists in my book to do the same. 

By Joshua Zeitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flapper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of K-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher from 2004 - 2016

Nick Prior Author Of Popular Music, Digital Technology and Society

From my list on popular music, technology, and society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Professor of Cultural Sociology at Edinburgh, UK, and have written extensively on contemporary culture and particularly technological mediations of popular music. I have undertaken empirical research on cultures of popular music in places like Iceland, Japan, and the UK, and I have supervised around 25 doctoral students to successful completion. My work is widely cited in the field of cultural sociology, and I am regularly interviewed by national broadcasters and the press. I’m also an amateur musician, making homespun electronic music in my bedroom and releasing it under the monikers Sponge Monkeys and Triviax.

Nick's book list on popular music, technology, and society

Nick Prior Why did Nick love this book?

This is a collection of essays by Fisher that originally comprised his K-Punk blog and that I return to again and again.

Fisher has a unique voice, a kind of critical conscience for the times that navigates the complexities of what he called "capitalist realism" through the lens of popular culture. These essays are the reason I got into bands on the Ghost Box label, like Pye Corner Audio, The Advisory Circle, and Belbury Poly. They speak to a loss of promised futures in a political context that has increasingly emptied out hope.

I find Fisher’s diagnosis of the culture of late capitalism to be the most compelling out there. His critique of “retro” bands like The Arctic Monkeys is scathing, while his writings on “hauntological” culture are ground-breaking. I’m a big fan of Burial, and Fisher’s reflections on the post-rave come-down are spot on.

Be warned: the collection can…

By Mark Fisher, Darren Ambrose (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked K-punk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Edited by Darren Ambrose and with a foreword by Simon Reynolds, this comprehensive collection brings together the work of acclaimed blogger, writer, political activist and lecturer Mark Fisher (aka k-punk). Covering the period 2004 - 2016, the collection will include some of the best writings from his seminal blog k-punk; a selection of his brilliantly insightful film, television and music reviews; his key writings on politics, activism, precarity, hauntology, mental health and popular modernism for numerous websites and magazines; his final unfinished introduction to his planned work on "Acid Communism"; and a number of important interviews from the last decade.


Book cover of The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure

Christopher Dale Author Of Better Halves: Rebuilding a Post-Addiction Marriage

From my list on couples recovering from addiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a husband, father, writer, and recovering addict – and not necessarily in that order. Early in my marriage, I became a full-blown, low-bottom cocaine addict. While it wasn’t surprising that active addiction nearly led to divorce, my wife and I were baffled and discouraged when my newfound sobriety brought its own existential marital issues. Frustratingly, there was a dearth of resources for couples in recovery, especially compared to the ample support available to recovering addicts. As an avid freelance writer, I decided to add to this sparse genre by sharing our struggles, setbacks, and successes en route to a happy, secure marriage. 

Christopher's book list on couples recovering from addiction

Christopher Dale Why did Christopher love this book?

What’s a book against language policing and cancel culture doing on a list about post-addiction marriage? Simple: the self-obsessed, oft-offended nonsense permeating universities exemplifies what married couples in recovery must roundly reject. 

The book’s co-authors – a social psychologist and a free speech activist – profess three Great Untruths adversely affecting Generation Z: 

What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker. This prompts us to avoid narratives challenging our preconceived notions or personal experiences. 

Always trust your feelings. Among other problems, unquestionably trusting our feelings leads to taking offense when none is intended.

Life is a battle between good and evil people. This leads to a blame-first mentality that assumes the worst about others. 

They may as well have been speaking to married couples attempting to stay together post-recovery.

By Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Coddling of the American Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller * Finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction * A New York Times Notable Book * Bloomberg Best Book of 2018

"Their distinctive contribution to the higher-education debate is to meet safetyism on its own, psychological turf . . . Lukianoff and Haidt tell us that safetyism undermines the freedom of inquiry and speech that are indispensable to universities." -Jonathan Marks, Commentary

"The remedies the book outlines should be considered on college campuses, among parents of current and future students, and by anyone longing for a more sane society." -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Something…


Book cover of Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia

Stephan Lewandowsky Author Of The Debunking Handbook 2020

From my list on the perils facing democracy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have had a lifelong interest in history and in particular the history of democracy. When I became a cognitive scientist, I initially studied basic memory processes using a mix of computer simulations and experimentation. I became interested in misinformation during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 when the purported “Weapons of Mass Destruction” never materialized but large segments of the American public continued to believe in their existence. Some 20 years later, misinformation has taken center stage in public life and has metastasized into a danger to democracy in many countries around the world. The books on this list should present a warning and inspiration to all of us.

Stephan's book list on the perils facing democracy

Stephan Lewandowsky Why did Stephan love this book?

This is a page-turner that I read in one go from front to finish. It reads like a thriller and keeps you hooked, although it is also a very serious analysis of contemporary Russia by one of the UK’s most skilled journalists and authors. It is as thrilling as it is frightening because there are so many signs that western countries are heading in a similar direction—a country that “is a dictatorship in the morning, a democracy at lunch, an oligarchy by suppertime, while, backstage, oil companies are expropriated, journalists killed, billions siphoned away”, as Peter put it in one of his memorable phrases.

By Peter Pomerantsev,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the new Russia, even dictatorship is a reality show. Professional killers with the souls of artists, would-be theater directors turned Kremlin puppet-masters, suicidal supermodels, Hell's Angels who hallucinate themselves as holy warriors, and oligarch revolutionaries: welcome to the glittering, surreal heart of twenty-first-century Russia. It is a world erupting with new money and new power, changing so fast it breaks all sense of reality, home to a form of dictatorship--far subtler than twentieth-century strains--that is rapidly rising to challenge the West. When British producer Peter Pomerantsev plunges into the booming Russian TV industry, he gains access to every nook…


Book cover of Kansai Cool: A Journey Into the Cultural Heartland of Japan

Doug Walsh Author Of The Walkthrough: Insider Tales from a Life in Strategy Guides

From my list on the video game industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Doug Walsh is the author of over one hundred officially licensed video game strategy guides for BradyGames and Prima Games. From Diablo to Zelda, his work covered nearly every major gaming franchise for two decades.

Doug's book list on the video game industry

Doug Walsh Why did Doug love this book?

It is impossible to talk about gaming without mentioning the influence Japanese culture has had on the pastime. Specifically, Nintendo. This collection of essays and photos offers an anthropologist’s view to the Kansai region of Western Japan, and helps gamers (and travelers) understand the complex culture in which Nintendo is based.

By Christal Whelan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kansai Cool as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Kansai Cool anthropologist, writer and filmmaker Christal Whelan offers profound insights in the only collection of essays to focus on Kansai, Japan's ancient heartland. Kansai ; the region in Western Japan that boasts the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara, the bustling commercial city of Osaka and the cosmopolitan port city of Kobe ; has a character all its own, right down to its dialect, mannerisms, and cuisine. It is home to some of Japan's oldest history and an area where the country's most time-honored arts and crafts still thrive. Worldly and otherworldly, spirited and spiritual, trendy and traditional,…


Book cover of The Official Preppy Handbook

Maureen Callahan Author Of American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century

From my list on American pop culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

Maureen Callahan is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning investigative journalist, columnist, and commentator. She has covered everything from pop culture to politics. Her writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, New York, Spin, and the New York Post, where she is Critic-at-Large. She lives in New York. For Shepherd, Callahan has selected her favorite books about American pop culture, which is currently dominated by her favorite subgenre, true crime.

Maureen's book list on American pop culture

Maureen Callahan Why did Maureen love this book?

I find WASP culture absurd and fascinating. I love that rich people, really rich people, have a fixation with stickers, slapping abbreviations for Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket or East Hampton on their luxury vehicles even though said luxury vehicles, parked in said locales, really should say it all. Such is the taxonomy writ large in Lisa Birnbach’s seminal Preppy Handbook, which explores other WASP signifiers such as “the politics of monogramming,” the elevation of old clothes over new, and what your choice of private schools, charities and vacation spots says about you. Pairs well with Take Ivy, a cult photography book by the Japanese photographer T. Hayashida, who spent the early-to-mid 1960s photographing American preps on college campuses — with prep soon becoming the rage in the Japan’s hipster Ginza district.

By Lisa Birnbach,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Official Preppy Handbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A facetious guide to emulating the look, speech patterns, thinking, and lifestyle of those who attend prep schools and are a part of high society


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in pop culture, neoliberalism, and evangelicalism?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about pop culture, neoliberalism, and evangelicalism.

Pop Culture 155 books
Neoliberalism 57 books
Evangelicalism 36 books