Spectacles designed to capture our attention surround us. Marketing, movies, shopping malls, concerts, and virtual realities capture our imaginations and cultivate our desires. We live in a “society of the spectacle.” However, is the power and prevalence of spectacle unique to the modern era?
In the pages of Gifts Glittering and Poisoned, early Christian voices echo across the centuries to show that the society of the spectacle is not new. Our era resembles a time when the spectacular entertainments of ancient Rome had a profound effect on every aspect of social life. By drawing on the rich theology and witness of early Christianity, Gifts Glittering and Poisoned asks what it means for us to live in a new era of empire and spectacle. Through Augustine's description of the demonic, it shows how consumerism constructs a sophisticated symbolic order, a “society of the spectacle,” that corrupts our deepest longings for God.