December 20, 2005 | Graham

Jensen laments materialism…but he sells!

David McKnight recently suggested that people who are seen as nominally conservative, like Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, could actually be new partners in the “progressive” project.
From my occasional listening to Jensen’s Boyer Lectures McKnight could well be right. He and Jensen both seem to share a commitment to communitarianism.
Last Sunday Jensen decried the tendency of modern society towards materialism and sided with Clive Hamilton in his critique of the way “affluenza” has afflicted modern society.
So, how would Jensen address this, given that the concepts of personal responsibility and free-will are at the heart of the religion that he champions? In a society where those concepts are given expression, and given the doctrine of original sin, wouldn’t Jensen expect a rise in materialism and selfishness to be the end result? Isn’t a society like this more “christian” in a philosophical sense, than say, Masachusetts of the Salem Witch Trials, Calvinist Geneva, Spain under Isabella, or even Australia in the 1950s?
I hope you can catch the replay of Jensen’s latest lecture today at 1:00 p.m., otherwise you will have to pay to read or listen to it. In fact, I’m told that one of the motivating factors for having Jensen deliver these lectures is that one of the things most frequently purchased on the Internet is audio files of sermons. The ABC apparently thought that they could make money from Jensen’s lectures by selling them to fundamentalists all over the globe via the Internet.
Which puts yet another gloss over Jensen’s lament of materialism. It also makes one wonder what exactly a national broadcaster can be expected to return to the taxpayers for their generous support each year. Not audio files anyway, apparently. Happy Christmas.

Posted by Graham at 7:01 am | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Religion

1 Comment

  1. There was an intersting article in the Oz today re whether “jesus” or santa claus was the better marketing brand name.
    There was also the delicious irony of a feature on the woman who invented the slogan “I shop therefore I am”
    In other words “jesus” is just another consumer product and the “successful” consumer oriented churches use slick advertising and feel good consoling illusions to sell their product.
    There is also a USA Trident submarine named the USS (city) of Corpus Christie. A truly extraordinary brand-name.
    Peter Jensen did have some very good things to say about the state of our so called “culture”.
    And a complete load of nonsense about “jesus”.
    What if “jesus” is interpreted to mean the all pervasive, Infinitely Radiant Conscious Light of Reality or in the language of science: Christ=MC2.
    Not much radiantly conscious light to be found in a calvinist based church or at Hillsong.

    Comment by John — December 20, 2005 @ 6:02 pm

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