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By James Walters

Jean Baudrillard was once one of many optimal highbrow figures of the overdue 20th century and his paintings is at present attaining a brand new prominence within the English-speaking international. often called the "high priest of postmodernity", Baudrillard by no means without delay addressed theological matters. besides the fact that, his provocative research of the altering nature of fact, subjectivity and employer is of accelerating significance to modern theology. additionally, his mode of cultural research (which he himself describes as "mystical") presents fruitful percentages for theological reasoning within the post-idealist international he describes. James Walters presents the context of Baudrillard's writing and identifies key affects. He then units out his middle principles, drawing in theological responses and touching on them to theological issues. ultimately, he highlights a few parts of his paintings of specific theological curiosity.

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There is then a wider play of signifiers that construct the (hyper)reality of the brand that include words such as ‘alternative’, ‘revolutionary’, ‘superior’, ‘max’ and ‘performance’. And it is not merely the particular material products from which these constructed brands have become divorced. Other realities (and referents) have been lost. These may include the realities of developing world sweatshops and poor labour conditions. They may include the mineral conflicts perpetuated in countries like the Congo by demand for new technology.

Choice in the consumer economy is always about alternation between essentially meaningless oppositions (do I buy Pepsi or Cola? McDonalds or Burger king? ). Similarly political parties have become simulacra of their former ideologically based forms with minimal policy difference and affecting minimal change on the system. Elections merely regulate the political sphere through the alternation of forces in power in minority/majority substitutions: ‘At the limit of pure representation, ‘it’ [ça] no longer represents anything.

In the present age, the dangers of simulacral religious practice are widespread. There has been a shift in many of the world faiths towards particular visual signs of religious affiliation (the hijab in Islam, the kippah in Judaism, the turban in Sikhism). Recent legal test cases of anti-Christian discrimination in the UK have concerned the right to wear a cross in the workplace, a visual statement never previously considered a religious requirement. The need to defend religious signs in the visual realm is perhaps indicative of a complex age when it is no longer easy to map deeper religious identity onto the shape of social, family and personal life.

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