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Ebook Information

The Gospel of Sustainability

Media, Market, and LOHAS

The interlocking roles of media, marketplace, and sustainability

From organic produce and clothing to socially conscious investing and eco-tourism, the lifestyles of health and sustainability, or LOHAS, movement encompasses diverse products and practices intended to contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle for people and the planet. In The Gospel of Sustainability, Monica M. Emerich explores the contemporary spiritual expression of this green cultural shift at the confluence of the media and the market.

This is the first book to qualitatively study the LOHAS marketplace and the development of a discourse of sustainability of the self and the social and natural worlds. Emerich draws on myriad sources related to the notions of mindful consumption found in the LOHAS marketplace, including not just products and services but marketing materials, events, lectures, regulatory policies, and conversations with leaders and consumers. These disparate texts, she argues, universally project a spiritual message about personal and planetary health that is in turn reforming capitalism by making consumers more conscious.

In lucid and engaging prose rife with relevant contemporary examples and anecdotes about the LOHAS movement, Emerich traces the creative ways in which populations transfer ideas normally assigned to the sphere of religion to the materials and environments at hand, including to markets and the labor they perform. The result is a riveting discussion about the interlocking roles of media, marketplace, and sustainability.

"Monica M. Emerich treats seriously the green culture and contextualizes the social changes that have repositioned such products as central to public discourse about capitalism and the material production of spirituality. Scholars of media, religion, and cultural studies will relish this stimulating book, the first of its kind." --Claire Hoertz Badaracco, author of Prescribing Faith: Medicine, Media and Religion in American Culture

"The Gospel of Sustainability fits in well with expanding research in the areas of faith, media, and the marketplace. LOHAS already is a significant influencing group and it seems to be growing. There are no other books addressing this topic that I am aware of. Moreover, Monica M. Emerich does not just cover the market. She explains how LOHAS has evolved through the nexus of communication, consumer products, and spirituality."--Mara Einstein, author of Brands of Faith: Marketing and Religion in a Commercial Age


Monica M. Emerich is a faculty member at the Sustainable Practices Program at the University of Colorado and a research affiliate with the Center for Media, Religion and Culture at the University of Colorado.

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