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The map, the territory, and the impossibility of painting a priest

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/11/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Critical Sociology
Issue number7-8
Volume42
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)1109-1124
Publication statusPublished
Early online date29/12/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The article focuses on the relationship between capitalism and religion through an allegorical double reading of social theory and fiction. Theoretically it discusses capitalism as religion. Empirically it analyses Michel Houellebecq’s recent novel The Map and the Territory. Houellebecq’s is a late modern world in which capital tends to replace, like a map, the actual experience of life, the territory. A world in which everything is modelled on the logic of businesses and capitalism has taken the place of religion. However, The Map and the Territory distils the relationship between religion and capitalism anew, and this relationship, together with the political questions it invites, is the leitmotiv for the considerations here.