Ultimate concern

Last year I had a program talk about consumerism being an implicit religion. Not very many people came, but somehow what I said took on a life of its own. To date I have done three interviews with journalists who somehow found out about this and found it intriguing. In a recent article a former Swedish bishop writes about the same thing, using Martin Luther’s definition of faith as tool to understand today’s society. What is a God? Luther answers – a god is anything you put your trust in and expect everything good from. Theologian Paul Tillich uses the term ultimate concern to answer the same question. So what is your ultimate concern? Where do you place your hope and where do you go when you need help? Answer these questions and you will find your true god. We live in a world and a society where we put our trust in economic growth, technology and science. This is the new trinity we hope will save us in the end – facing climate change and other problems. This is where we place our hope for the future. In the same way our ultimate concern is often our own self – what’s in it for me? According to the former bishop the new world religion is a self-centered materialistic atheism. In this context shopping can seen as the main ritual of this new world religion. This is what drives economic growth and creates an eternal demand for new technologies to amaze us. It used to be people would go to Church on Sunday – now they gather in the shopping malls. So what is your ultimate concern?