Prereview: Colossians Remixed

A scripture on government and society:

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, [Jesus] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

Brian J. Walsh and Syliva C. Keesmaat have written an intriguing new book entitled Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire, which reads Colossians as a text subversive to the global empire of postmodern capitalism and American dominance. It looks really promising, especially in light of today’s scripture that describes how one particular death due to empire defeated both political and spiritual “powers and authorities.” Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1:

Walter Truett Anderson makes a similar point: “Globalism and a postmodern worldview come in the same package; we will not have one without the other.” The indissoluble link between them is precisely the “pluralism” that they both champion. As Boyle perceptively points out, “the belief that there is, not a single truth and a single world, but a multiplicity of mutually untranslatable perspectives, is strangely analogous to the belief that the market is a boundless medium within which perfect competition is possible between an infinite number of discrete commercial identities.” The postmodern multiplicity of perspectives is essentially the same as the multiplicity of products available on the global market. In such a pluralism, “the moral world, like the material world, is supremely represented as a shopping mall: it is now open to us to stroll between the shelves and pick out, or opt for . . . whatever takes our fancy.” In this discernment of our cultural context, postmodern emphases on choice, diversity, difference and otherness simply function as a smokescreen to cover the homogenizing forces of global capitalism.

Not only is postmodernity no real threat to the empire of consumerism, it also provides ideological comfort to that empire.

This helps explain why corporate capitalism can constantly harp on a message of “be yourself” and self-improvement, even as it expands its empire.

A book that seems worth reading. via Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed weblog.


About Will Fitzgerald

I work on recommendation systems and lexical resources for Wordnik.

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